The British government is to push ahead with plans to let police detain terrorist suspects for ninety days despite a possible revolt by its own members in parliament.
A vote on the controversial legilsation takes place on Wednesday. Prime Minister Tony Blair:
“We don’t want to compromise on the 90 days at all, it’s not the right thing for the country. Be under no doubt about that at all. 90 days with continual seven day judicial supervision is the right thing for this country’s security. And if we are forced to compromise, it will be a compromise with this nation’s security.”
The government has offered some concessions, primarily a review of the law after one year. But the opposition Conservatives, led by Michael Howard, insist 28 days is the upper limit for any detention period.
“We believe that it’s fundamentaly wrong that someone can be locked up for the equivalent of a six month prison sentence without charge, without any evidence at all. “
The Labour government is gambling it has convinced enough sceptics within its ranks to win the coming vote. A recent poll showed 72 percent of the public backed Blair on the issue.