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Government refuses to hold inquiry into renditions and torture

THERESA MAY has failed to deliver an inquiry into rendition and torture, despite campaigners hoping it could be one of her final acts before leaving office.

The outgoing prime minister, who took on the Metropolitan Police by launching a judge-led inquiry into undercover policing, has decided against opening a similar probe into extraordinary renditions — which would have put Britain’s spy agencies under intense scrutiny.

Her de-facto deputy, David Lidington, told the Commons today the government has ruled out an inquiry.

He said: “There is no policy reason to do so, given the extensive work already undertaken to improve policies and practices in this area.”

Although Mr Lidington tried to sweeten the announcement by unveiling an update to the government’s anti-torture guidance, critics were unimpressed by the changes.

Dr Sam Raphael, director of The Rendition Project, told the Morning Star: “The ‘new’ guidance released today is no better than the old, discredited version. In some ways it is worse.

“And after years and years of stymied inquiries the government has now refused to establish a full judge-led inquiry into UK involvement in torture.

“Given what we already know, this is a bad day for justice and accountability for past crimes.”

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the CIA began to kidnap terror suspects around the globe and torture them at so called black sites, or outsource the interrogations to friendly dictatorships.

The extent of Britain’s involvement in these ghost flights has never fully come to light, although it is known that MI6 played a key role in the rendition of a pregnant woman to Colonel Gadaffi’s torture chambers.

Tory libertarian David Davis MP was unimpressed by his colleague’s announcement.

He hit back: “The government is asking us to allow it to mark its own homework… it simply should not be allowed to do so.

“To the point that the government have solved the problems, I’m afraid that is plainly and demonstrably not true… there is not a prohibition on ministers approving torture.”

Campaign group Reprieve said it was exploring a legal challenge and accused the government of “breaking promises” to torture victims.

A spokesman said: “Tweaked Whitehall guidance doesn’t provide redress for victims, most of whom remain in the dark as to the government’s role in their mistreatment.”


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