UK bill of rights won’t be scrapped, says Liz Truss
31st Aug 2016
A British bill of rights will go ahead as promised, the justice secretary, Liz Truss, has said, though no timeframe for any detailed proposals has been given.
There has been repeated speculation that the legislation, which was a 2015 Conservative manifesto promise to replace the Human Rights Act, introduced by the last Labour government, could be ditched in the wake of the EU referendum.
Truss told BBC’s Radio 4 programme there was no plan to drop the proposal. “We are committed to that. That is a manifesto commitment,” she said. “I’m looking very closely at the details but we have a manifesto commitment to deliver that.”
Theresa May, the prime minister, has previously signalled strong support for a British bill of rights that critics fear could lead to a watering-down of human rights law.
She said in a speech as home secretary: “This is Great Britain, the country of Magna Carta, parliamentary democracy and the fairest courts in the world. And we can protect human rights ourselves in a way that doesn’t jeopardise national security or bind the hands of parliament.
“A true British bill of rights, decided by parliament and amended by parliament, would protect not only the rights set out in the convention, but could include traditional British rights not protected by the ECHR such as the right to trial by jury.”
However, at the launch of her campaign for the Conservative leadership, May also said she did not plan to take Britain out of the European convention on human rights after the UK leaves the European Union.