Sadiq Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary, commenting on the publication of the Report of the Commission on a Bill of Rights, said:
“The Commission was a classic political fudge, designed to paper over the cracks within the Tory-led Government, and today’s report is a dog’s breakfast as a result. The Human Rights Act is our Bill of Rights, and already provides legal protection against torture and slavery, and enshrines in law the right to liberty, to open and fair justice and to protest. It upholds freedom of speech, the right to a private life and to religious freedoms. The Human Rights Act was always intended to be a living bill of rights and it’s important that it continues to reflect changing society. Labour has always been clear that it would consider changes that go above and beyond existing rights but we will fiercely oppose any watering down of the protection offered.
“This report will fuel the Tory obsession with Europe, and expose their true aim, which is to abolish all of the rights enshrined in the Human Rights Act and replace with a new set, with fewer rights. But they’ve never admitted which rights they think are no longer worthy of protection. David Cameron must be honest and admit this report will result in the watering down of the rights of British citizens. And by doing so they’d make it more difficult for the victims of crime to be protected in rape cases, patients in care homes to be given dignity, those whose phones were hacked to bring cases as well as many other rights enshrined in the Human Rights Act. Given the rift within the Government, it’s unlikely there’ll be any changes to the current law before the next election. Instead, the Tories will be using the findings for their next manifesto – and at a cost of millions of pounds, that must be the most expensive piece of manifesto authorship in history, all courtesy of the taxpayer.”