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Ukraine war means govt should drop human rights act reforms, finds Amnesty poll

THE majority of the British public opposes government plans to repeal the Human Rights Act, according to a poll published today. 

Proposals to replace the Act with a new Bill of rights were confirmed last week in the Queen’s Speech, which set out the Tories’ legislative agenda for the next year. 

The poll, commissioned by Amnesty International UK, found that 79 per cent of respondents believe that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and alleged war crimes make it more important for Britain to uphold human rights at home. 

Almost two-thirds, 65 per cent, believe that reducing human rights protections in Britain would have a negative impact on its ability to stand up for human rights on the global stage, according to the survey.

Amnesty International UK chief executive Sacha Deshmukh said: “The message from the British public is clear: hands off the Human Rights Act.

“The horrors of Ukraine have brought home the value of basic human rights to everyone in this country. The British people want the UK to be champion of human rights, not a wrecker.”

The poll of 2,277 adults, carried out by Savanta ComRes, also showed that 73 per cent of respondents think it is important to preserve the Act in order to hold the government to account. 

Campaigners have highlighted the role played by the 1998 Act, which incorporates the European Convention of Human Rights into domestic law, in securing justice for the Hillsborough families and for other victims of state-related injustices. 

The government claims the overhaul will “restore the balance of power between the legislature and the courts.” 

The proposals would make it easier for the government to deport non-British citizens with criminal convictions by removing the right-to-family-life defence.

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