Tighter security measures have been proposed to the British parliament designed to help police tackle terrorism.
They include extending the time terror suspects can be detained without being charged. The current maximum period is 28 days.
The plans, presented by Home Secretary John Reid, do not make up a draft bill, but are instead open to consultation by opposition parties, police and civil rights groups. Reid told MPs:
“It is my intention wherever possible to proceed to build national consensus on national security. In other words to build wherever possible a cross party and cross parliament support for the measures being introduced.”
Reid has the support of Gordon Brown, who will replace Tony Blair as Prime Minister later this month.
Some of the suggested measures, such as allowing telephone tapping evidence to be used in trials, are backed by the opposition.
But parliament has already blocked an attempt by Blair in the wake of the London bombings in 2005 to extend detention periods to 90 days without charge.