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Tory plans for human rights withdrawal slammed by Amnesty

TORY plans to withdraw from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) would remove an essential safety net and “beggar belief,” Amnesty said yesterday. 

Prime Minister David Cameron has reportedly been presented with proposals on human-rights law this week, drawn up by a working group of Conservative lawyers, suggesting that the plan for an alternative British bill of rights could force changes in the way the ECHR operates.

But the lawyers also acknowledge that the changes could lead to Britain being expelled from the 47-member Council of Europe, which upholds human rights across the continent.

Amnesty International UK policy head Allan Hogarth warned the move would “rip away” our human-rights safety net. 

“The steady drumbeat of threats to dismantle human-rights protections for people in the UK reached a manic crescendo this week,” he said. 

“These latest reports beggar belief and, if true, reveal a plan which is both immature and ill conceived.

“Cameron appears intent on rubbishing the UK’s commitment to human rights and so undermining its influence as a moral authority on the world stage.” 

Speculation has mounted that the Tories are planning to force through their plans following this week’s cabinet reshuffle, which saw the two key opponents to the proposal — Ken Clarke and Dominic Grieve — sacked from the cabinet.

Both Mr Clarke, a well-known Europhile, and former attorney general Mr Grieve had both warned of the dire implications of withdrawal from the ECRH.

Their removal from the cabinet in the wide-ranging reshuffle has been seen by many as David Cameron clearing the way to drive through the controversial plans.

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