Gary McKinnon's MP said the Home Secretary had "saved his life" in withdrawing his extradition order.

Conservative MP David Burrowes said he was "delighted" at the decision to spare the computer hacker from being taken to the US to face trial, minutes after Theresa May made a statement to the House of Commons.

Burrowes, who had threatened to resign if McKinnon would be extradited, said: "After 10 long years Gary can at last get his life back."

McKinnon, who has Asperger's syndrome, has been accused by US prosecutors of "the biggest military computer hack of all time", but he claims he was simply looking for evidence of UFOs.

gary mckinnon

McKinnon was labelled as 'the biggest military computer hack of all time' by US prosecutors


Speaking to The Huffington Post UK on Tuesday, the mother of Richard O'Dwyer, the 24-year-old who faces extradition over piracy, said May's decision was "fantastic, excellent news."

But Julia O'Dwyer questioned why the home secretary introduced a forum bar which would not apply to her son's pending case.

"They have it within their power to do so [to apply legislation retrospectively]. Scott Baker [the judge who reviewed extradition laws in 2011] stated that.

"We're not asking for Richard to be not prosecuted, we're just asking for him to be dealt with in this country," she told The Huffington Post UK.

Karl Watkin MBE, an international businessman who has spent the last 12 years campaigning against the UK's extradition treaty with the States, said that Theresa May had made "a cynical political decision" despite the "great result."

"The Home Secretary was desperate for a hook to hang her u-turn on and thankfully found one.

"Sadly this will not benefit others including Richard O'Dwyer. The UK needs to stand up to the extraterritorial reach of the US in particular on cyber crime which should be prosecuted where it physically took place not on the tenuous location of servers," he told The Huffington Post UK by email.

"The extradition treaty remains fundamentally flawed. UK citizens alleged to have committed crimes in the UK should be tried here, Richard O'Dwyer is the next case in point and should be tried in the UK for his alleged crime"

Melanie Riley, of the campaign group Friends Extradited, said she was "relieved and delighted for Gary and his family and his lawyers. A brave and correct decision has finally been made by the Home Secretary."

Jeremy Croft, Head of Policy and Government Affairs, said: “It is welcome news that the Human Rights Act is being used exactly as it is intended to be used - to protect vulnerable people when their human rights are at risk.

“It makes a refreshing change to hear Theresa May invoking the human rights protections afforded by the Human Rights Act. It can only be hoped that her decision today marks a change in direction wherein the Home Secretary ceases to call for those very protections to be dismantled, and indeed champions the Act for the safeguards it provides.”

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“Our thoughts today are with all those friends unnecessarily extradited before the wrongs of the Extradition Act 2003 are put right," she said.

Shami Chakrabarti, Director of human rights group Liberty, said in a statement it was a "great day for rights, freedoms and justice in the United Kingdom. The Home Secretary has spared this vulnerable man the cruelty of being sent to the US and accepted Liberty’s long-standing argument for change to our rotten Extradition laws.

“Extradition should prevent fugitives escaping – not allow for Britons like Gary to be parcelled off around the world based on allegations of offences committed here at home.

“This campaign, led by Gary’s fearless mother, united lawyers, politicians, press and public from across the spectrum in the cause of compassion and common sense."

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  • Janis Sharp, mother of Gary McKinnon, at

    Janis Sharp, mother of Gary McKinnon, attends a protest outside the Home Office against the Home Secretary's decision not to halt his extradition to the US, in Central London on December 15, 2009. Gary McKinnon, who suffers from a form of autism, could spend life in prison if convicted by a US court of gaining access to 97 computers in 2001 and 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. AFP PHOTO/Ben Stansall

  • Janis Sharp (2nd R), mother of Gary McKi

    Janis Sharp (2nd R), mother of Gary McKinnon, Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg (3rd R) and Liberal Democrat Chris Huhne (4th R) attend a protest outside the Home Office against the Home Secretary's decision not to halt his extradition to the US, in central London, on December 15, 2009. Gary McKinnon, who suffers from a form of autism, could spend life in prison if convicted by a US court of gaining access to 97 computers in 2001 and 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. AFP PHOTO/Ben Stansall

  • Gary McKinnon extradition

    Computer hacker Gary McKinnon's mum Janis Sharp with a letter and flowers she is planning to give to the Queen.

  • Gary McKinnon extradition

    Computer hacker Gary McKinnon's mum Janis Sharp with his girlfriend Lucy Clark with a letter and flowers they plan to give to the Queen.

  • Gary McKinnon extradition

    Janis Sharp, holds a card signed by politicians and well wishers for her son, computer hacker Gary McKinnon, on Westminster Bridge, London, as authorities in the US want him to stand trial for hacking into top secret military computers, Mr McKinnon, from Wood Green, north London, suffers from Asperger's syndrome, says he was looking for evidence of UFOs.

  • Gary McKinnon extradition

    Janis Sharp (right) the mother of Gary McKinnon with Trudie Styler, as outside number 10, Downing Street, handing in a book and poems written by Gary, to mark the 10 years since her son's arrest on US hacking allegations.

  • Gary McKinnon extradition

    Janis Sharp (right) the mother of Gary McKinnon with Trudie Styler, as they stand outside number 10, Downing Street, before handing in a book and poems written by Gary, to mark the 10 years since her son's arrest on US hacking allegations.

  • Decision Expected On The Extradition Of Computer Hacker Gary McKinnon

    LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 16: Janis Sharp, the mother of British computer hacker Gary McKinnon, is photographed as she attends a press conference following a decision by Home Secretary Theresa May not to extradite Mr McKinnon to the US on October 16, 2012 in London, England. Mr McKinnon, who sufferers from Asperger''s Syndrome, admits to accessing US Government computers but claims he was looking for evidence of UFOs. Mrs May told MPs in the House of Commons that Mr McKinnon was 'seriously ill' and that enforcing the extradition warrant would be in breech of his human rights. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

  • Janis Sharp, the mother of computer hacker Gary McKinnon leaves her home near Hatfield, England, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012. Britain's government says Gary McKinnon won't be extradited to the United States, ending his decade-long campaign to avoid trial there over allegations he broke into sensitive military and NASA computer networks. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

  • Janis Sharp, the mother of British computer hacker Gary McKinnon reacts, during a news conference in London, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012. A British computer hacker's decade-long struggle to avoid trial in the U.S. over alleged breaches of military and NASA networks ended in success Tuesday, as the U.K. government ruled he was unfit to face charges there. Home Secretary Theresa May said she had blocked the U.S. request to extradite Gary McKinnon after medical experts concluded he was seriously depressed and that there was "a high risk of him ending his life." (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • Decision Expected On The Extradition Of Computer Hacker Gary McKinnon

    LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 16: Janis Sharp, the mother of British computer hacker Gary McKinnon, is interviewed after a press conference following a decision by Home Secretary Theresa May not to extradite Mr McKinnon to the US on October 16, 2012 in London, England. Mr McKinnon, who sufferers from Asperger''s Syndrome, admits to accessing US Government computers but claims he was looking for evidence of UFOs. Mrs May told MPs in the House of Commons that Mr McKinnon was 'seriously ill' and that enforcing the extradition warrant would be in breech of his human rights. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

  • Janis Sharp, the mother of British computer hacker Gary McKinnon reacts, during a news conference in London, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012. A British computer hacker's decade-long struggle to avoid trial in the U.S. over alleged breaches of military and NASA networks ended in success Tuesday, as the U.K. government ruled he was unfit to face charges there. Home Secretary Theresa May said she had blocked the U.S. request to extradite Gary McKinnon after medical experts concluded he was seriously depressed and that there was "a high risk of him ending his life." (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • McKinnon extradition

    Janis Sharp, mother of Gary McKinnon, arrives for a press conference at her solicitors in London today.

  • McKinnon extradition

    Janis Sharp, mother of Gary McKinnon, arrives for a press conference at her solicitors in London today.

  • McKinnon extradition

    A supporter of Gary McKinnon congratulates his mother, Janis Sharp, before a press conference at her solicitor's in London today.

  • McKinnon extradition

    Janis Sharp, mother of Gary McKinnon arrives for a press conference at her solicitors in London today.