Human Rights Act
I support the Human Rights Act as it protects basic rights such as the right to be free from torture, the right to free speech, the right to a fair trial, the right to protest and freedom of association. It also includes responsibilities as well as rights, it maintains Parliamentary sovereignty and remains a crucial check against unaccountable state power.
That is why I believe that abolishing the Human Rights Act would severely weaken the rights of British citizens. I also believe that withdrawing from the European Convention on Human (ECHR) Rights, from which the Human Rights Act was drawn, would be a shameful abandonment of Britain’s historic respect for the rule of law and weaken our moral authority to demand change from those with weaker human rights records.
I therefore understand and share your concern about the Government’s intention to abolish the Human Rights Act and I can assure you that I will oppose any attempt to damage or dilute our human rights or to detach Britain from the ECHR.
The Government are yet to spell out their precise plans in this area – indeed, they appear to be utterly confused about how they will now implement their manifesto commitment to scrap the Human Rights Act or whether they will withdraw from the ECHR.
I believe the Government should now abandon their plans to abolish the Human Rights Act and I welcome that the Leader of the Labour Party and the Shadow Justice Secretary have also urged the Government to do so.
I can assure you that I will carefully scrutinise any firm proposals the Government eventually bring forward on this and that I will continue to stand up for Britain’s proud record on human rights. I have written to the Secretary of State for Justice, Michael Gove, relaying the concerns of the hundreds of constituents who have contacted me about this issue.