Political parties in Newcastle have united to oppose the Government’s proposed repeal of the Human Rights Act.
The Liberal Democrats and Labour will come together on Wednesday night at a Newcastle City Council meeting and are likely to vote in favour of lobbying the Government to abandon plans.
They also plan to write to Home Secretary Theresa May, expressing concern.
Normally fierce political rivals, councillors from both parties say this move shows the strength of feeling against the proposed changes.
The new Government’s plans to scrap the Human Rights Act in favour of a British Bill of Rights has prompted outcry from politicians and legal rights groups as well as several celebrities. However those in favour believe severing the formal link between British court and the European Court of Human Rights would be welcomed.
The Conservatives believe the move would strengthen the powers of British supreme court with less deference to Strasbourg, however the plan was noticeably absent from the Queen’s Speech prompting concerns over a struggle within the Tory party to gain backbench support.
In line with the views of their national parties, both the Liberal Democrat and the Labour parties in Newcastle have submitted motions to the council with deputy Lib Dem councillor Dr Wendy Taylor asking members to reject any proposal made by the Government to repeal the act.
She wants other councillors to agree that these ‘fundamental rights and freedoms’ enshrined in the act ‘are crucial for a fair, free and democratic society.’
“At a time when we are honouring those who fought in the Second World War and the purpose for which so many lost their lives defending our liberty and freedoms, we reject the Government’s proposal to repeal the Human Rights Act and withdraw from the European court of human rights in Strasbourg.”
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