Yvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, commenting on control orders, said:
“The Tory-led Government’s counter terrorism policy is collapsing into ever greater confusion.
“Last week Ministers told us that although 28 days pre charge detention would lapse by default at midnight tonight to 14 days, that legislation would be needed and kept on hand to extend this in exceptional circumstances or in an emergency.
“Yet today we have discovered that the emergency legislation is not available even though the old powers run out at midnight tonight.
“This is a shocking and cavalier way to deal with our national security. Ministers themselves told us these back up powers were needed in case of emergency, but they have failed to get them ready and give Parliament the chance to look at them or see the evidence.
“Ministers need to tell us urgently what is going on and whether this puts our security at risk. If their own review has shown this emergency legislation is needed, then Ministers need to act immediately to get it ready and in place, in case a crisis arises. Right now we have no idea when this legislation will be ready and it is irresponsible of the government not to be prepared for every eventuality or to be able to react swiftly if emergencies arise.
“Government policy on counter terrorism is vital to the future of our country and needs to protect our national security as well as our historic freedoms. But instead of serious, responsible debate, we have seen chaos, delay and party political manoeuvring within the government.”