Sadiq Khan MP, Labour's Shadow Justice Secretary, commenting on reports the publication of the Justice and Security Bill has been delayed, said:
"If there were a book on how not to run a government, the shenanigans over the Justice and Security Bill would make a great chapter. Last Sunday, the Justice Secretary spent the day on TV and radio trailing publication of the Bill, telling us it would appear this week. But now, mysteriously, it looks like it's not materialising after all.
"The way this Tory-led Government has dealt with this sensitive issue shows what a prize mess it is making. The consultation finished in January and threw up considerable concerns, but rather than publicly responding or addressing them there has been radio silence. A prestigious committee of both Houses of Parliament have also written a critical report, which has simply been ignored by the Government.
"The Liberal Democrats appear to be briefing unhappiness with the proposals yet Nick Clegg signed off the plans previously. The Justice Secretary promised a White Paper but now he’s dumped the idea and has said he will publish a Bill this week but hasn't. This is a joke of a way to deal with such sensitive and controversial plans.
"Labour understands better than many how tough it can be balancing civil liberties with hard action on national security. We have learnt the importance of having a proper debate before legislating. These are currently a confused set of proposals, poorly drafted and too widely defined.
"We hope that the decision not to publish the Bill this week provides a pause for the Government to carefully consider its options. Swiftly moving to legislating is naive at best, foolhardy at worst."