POLITICS

Human Rights Act Scrapping Will Not Be Rushed Through Parliament In The Queen's Speech 2015

27/05/2015 09:12 BST | Updated 27/05/2015 16:59 BST

Tory rebels and civil liberties campaigners have won the first round in their battle to stop the abolition of the Human Rights Act (HRA).

Senior Conservative MP David Davis told The Huffington Post UK that he welcomed reports that the Government had backed off introducing a new British 'Bill of Rights' in this year's Queen's Speech.

The plans, which campaigners fear will result in the UK pulling out of the European Convention on Human Rights, are not now expected to be introduced until next year.

Mr Davis, the former Shadow Home Secretary, said: "I'm glad that they appear to have listening about the folly of abolishing the Human Rights Act in the 800th year of the Magna Carta.

david cameron

David Cameron has faced backlash over plans to scrap the Human Rights Act

"I hope that this indicates that they are thinking very carefully about the enormous constitutional ramifications of what they are planning."

The veteran backbencher is one of several senior Conservatives, along with Ken Clarke, Dominic Grieve, Andrew Mitchell and Damian Green, who believe that the UK would embolden authoritarian regimes if it severed its link to the European Convention.

With a majority of just 12, even a small rebellion would kill off the bill and it appeared today that Government whips felt it was better to consult on the plans further before coming back again with full legislation.

A government source said that it would be “odd if we did not consult widely” on the Act, according to The Times.

They added that it was now more important to get it “right, rather than quickly”.

The plans to axe the Act have been opposed by Labour, the SNP and the Lib Dems.

There have also been murmurings of backbench revolt over the issue.

benedict cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch was among the celebrities who spoke up in support of the Act

Outside the political world, a number of other high-profile figures have rallied in support of the Act.

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, Homeland's David Harewood, Game Of Thrones actress Indira Varma, Vanessa Redgrave and Simon Callow appeared in short films based on experiences of people who have relied on the legislation.

Cumberbatch said: "Our Human Rights Act belongs to all of us. It's not for politicians to pick and choose when they apply or who deserves protection.

"Repealing it will mean less protection against state abuse or neglect, and weaken the rights of every single one of us - and the vulnerable most of all."

Varma said: "Our Human Rights Act protects every one of us - young or old, wealthy and poor, civilian or soldier.

"It is a cause for pride and celebration, not a pawn in a dangerous political game. It is ours and no one is taking it from us without a fight."

SEE ALSO:

And Callow added: "The Human Rights Act is one of the few laws that enables us to hold the powerful to account.

"No surprise then that the Government wants to scrap it. The Act is a triumph of British values; we abandon it at our peril."

Many of today’s front pages were dedicated to the issue, with both the Daily Mail and the Sun blasting the Act.

The Sun contrasted pictures of “foreign criminals” with “Sun readers”, asking “Their rights…or yours?”.

the sun

It added: “European court puts terrorists and murderers first. Why is Cameron dithering over ending this farce?”

The Daily Mail was clearly unimpressed with the intervention of Cumberbatch et al, using the headline: “Folly of human rights luvvies”.

daily mail

It went on to detail how “thousands of convicts use [the HRA] to stay in Britain”.

Meanwhile, Alex Salmond has claimed that the SNP were part of the reason that David Cameron has apparently backed down over the immediate axing of the Act.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the government was in a “headlong retreat” over the introduction of a Bill of Rights.

Questions have been raised over whether Scotland and the other Assemblies will be consulted on the introduction of such a Bill.

Environment Secretary Liz Truss told Today: “"We do need to make sure we do this on a UK wide basis.”