Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Limit on Holding Terror Suspects Halved to 14 Days

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Limit on Holding Terror Suspects Halved to 14 Days

Article excerpt

Byline: Craig Woodhouse Political Reporter

MINISTERS sparked a row today as they halved the time suspected terrorists can be held without charge to 14 days.

Home Office minister Damian Green came under fire for the "shambolic" handling of the announcement and was accused of pandering to civil liberties campaigners.

But he insisted the decision not to renew the 28-day limit when it expires on Monday struck a "proper balance" between security and individual freedom. He told MPs that the power, brought in by Tony Blair, had been intended as "exceptional" and had not been used since 2007.

Only 11 people had been held for more than 14 days since the 28-day limit was introduced five years ago, he said. Three were charged.

He added: "We are clear 14 days should be the norm," though emergency laws to restore 28 days if needed will be drawn up and kept in reserve. Some MPs cheered as Mr Green made the surprise announcement in the Commons. …

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