Ed Miliband kills secret court plans


3:49 pm - April 5th 2012

by Sunny Hundal    


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Labour leader Ed Miliband has effectively killed the government’s plans for secret courts and secret trials by saying Labour would not back the proposal.

That puts the Libdems in a very awkward position, as they will now also have to vote against them or face a backlash from their own supporters.

The Daily Mail today reported:

Mr Miliband admitted the last Labour government had been too ready to make fundamental legal changes that threatened ancient liberties on the grounds of national security, adding: “The experience in this area is that rushed legislation is bad legislation.”

“It’s clear ministers have got to narrow substantially the proposals. It should not be in the Queen’s Speech and they should have another go at a green paper. It is very hard to see how that can be done for the Queen’s Speech in a way that is orderly.”

The Daily Mail has led criticism of the plans for more secret courts, along with groups such as Reprieve.

But Cameron insists his security plans were still likely to be included in the Queen’s Speech.

The ball is now in Nick Clegg’s court.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


1. Lance Dyer

At last some ‘Balls’ from Ed! Good – these plans cannot be supported by anyone who believes in democracy.

2. Shatterface

Labour leader Ed Miliband has effectively killed the government’s plans for secret courts and secret trials by saying Labour would not back the proposal.

But what will Labour really do – in secret?

I hope we are going to have a list of those individual MPs who have miraculously changed their minds since they had the power to do something about this.

3. Leon Wolfeson

“The ball is now in Nick Clegg’s court.”

The response is classified.

(But yes, good, that’s one of several policies fixed by Labour before I can vote for them…)

Um, Clegg already said he would oppose the secret court plans. So it was Clegg who killed them not Miliband.

All Miliband has said is that he won’t help the tories to get secret courts implemented in the face of Lib Dem refusal to vote with the tories on this.

Could I also ask:

Is this the same kind of promise as the one Miliband made to vote against cutting the 50p tax rate? The reason I ask is because the vast majority of Labour MPs abstained when it came to that actual vote.

6. Leon Wolfeson

@4 – Said? And?

The signed pledge on University fees comes back to haunt you again. There’s ZERO reason to believe a word he says.

7. Leon Wolfeson

The reason I ask is because the vast majority of Labour MPs abstained when it came to that actual vote.

It really annoys me when Libdems actually swallow such crap spin. That vote was on a series of motions not only the 50p tax. They didn’t have the option just to vote on that specific measure – as Ed B pointed out. Given that Labour has repeatedly said they wouldn’t have cut 50p tax – its desperate to pretend they’re u-turning.

Um, Clegg already said he would oppose the secret court plans.

Can you offer some evidence that he said he would oppose such plans? Fair enough if he did but I haven’t seen it

See here Sunny http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/justice-secretary-says-secret-courts-could-save-lives-7618000.html

“Nick Clegg’s earlier comments that he could not support the Government’s proposals for more secret hearings in their current form”

@8

Sunny, Labour MPs abstained on the sections of the budget which contained the cut in the 50p rate of tax. If you pledge you’re going to vote a certain way on something then you should damn well vote the way you said you would (and that includes Lib Dem MPs and tuition fees).

However, they also chose to actively vote against the specific sections of the budget which included raising the income tax threshold to £9,100. So on the one hand it’s okay to abstain on cutting taxes for the rich on the grounds that its “part of a series of measures” but on the other hand it’s okay to also vote specifically against tax cuts to poorer, working class people despite it also being “part of a series of measures”?

And forgive me if I’m dismissive of Labour promises on the 50p tax rate. All they’ve said is that if they were writing the budget they wouldn’t have cut it – but they’ve refused time and time again to confirm that they’d restore the 50p tax rate if they win the next general election.

RE Clegg I refer you to @9.

11. Leon Wolfeson

@10 – Still lying about raising the tax threshold being for the poor?

And “current form”. Ah yes, like the NHS “listening exercise”. Good job on the demolition work there!

George: fair point about Clegg.

However, they also chose to actively vote against the specific sections of the budget which included raising the income tax threshold to £9,100.

As far as I’m aware – this is because the raising of the threshold is being financed by cutting tax credits – which will poorer harder than richest. Perfectly progressive thing to do, as you well know.

If Libdems are going to be part of a govt that helps middle income earners by hitting poorest instead of richest – don’t expect left to support that!

13. john Reid

how many blairite backbernchers would back it though

Labour, the party of machiavellian attitudes to civil liberties, persecuting minorities and increasing the expedience with which people are passed through the courts, decide to not vote for secret court plans. I’ll call that a good start.

15. Leon Wolfeson

@14 – “persecuting minorities”

Ah, there goes that mirror thing again.

I suspect that the game afoot is thus: declare the current proposals are unacceptable, and later to claim concessions have been won, enabling our dear political class to pass whatever bill is finally presented.

We shouldn’t make it party political, Politicians from all the major parties are far too quick to acquiesce when the spooks or police claim they need more power.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. MagsNews

    Ed Miliband kills secret court plans | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/mUp4kV20 via @libcon

  2. jackie neylon

    Ed Miliband kills secret court plans | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/mUp4kV20 via @libcon

  3. jackie neylon

    Ed Miliband kills secret court plans | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/OwGJSJ4z via @libcon

  4. Mags

    Ed Miliband shows his liberal credentials and kills plans for secret trials in the UK http://t.co/LdFAUKyk Clegg now in a difficult spot

  5. Citizen Ember

    Ed Miliband shows his liberal credentials and kills plans for secret trials in the UK http://t.co/LdFAUKyk Clegg now in a difficult spot

  6. Mark

    Ed Miliband shows his liberal credentials and kills plans for secret trials in the UK http://t.co/LdFAUKyk Clegg now in a difficult spot

  7. Rowland Paul Hill

    Ed Miliband kills secret court plans | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/OwGJSJ4z via @libcon

  8. representingthemambo

    At least one welcome move by Ed Miliband RT @libcon: Ed Miliband kills secret court plans http://t.co/xjxtOK3H

  9. Sarfraiz Hussain

    While Clegg wiggles like an oscilloscope, @Ed_Miliband refuses to back plans for secret trials: http://t.co/KrER96Uo (via @sunny_hundal)

  10. McGinOxford

    Ed Miliband shows his liberal credentials and kills plans for secret trials in the UK http://t.co/LdFAUKyk Clegg now in a difficult spot

  11. Internet surveillance and secret courts add up to a headache for Nick Clegg | Catch21 Productions

    […] But Clegg could also face a headache over the issue of secret courts.  Ed Miliband says that Labour will not support the policy, which means that Lib Dem MPs will effectively decide whether it passes through the […]

  12. Natacha Kennedy

    Ed Milliband Kills secret court proposals, rather than the "freedom-loving" "Liberal Democrats" http://t.co/kH6TNrLv





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