Helen expresses her support for the Human Rights Act

I support the Human Rights Act as it protects basic rights such as the right to be free from torture, the right to free speech, the right to a fair trial, the right to protest and freedom of association. It also includes responsibilities as well as rights, it maintains Parliamentary sovereignty and remains a crucial check against unaccountable state power.


That is why I believe that repealing the Human Rights Act would severely weaken the rights of British citizens. I also believe that withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), from which the Human Rights Act was drawn, would be a shameful abandonment of Britain's historic respect for the rule of law and weaken our moral authority to demand change from those with weaker human rights records.


I therefore understand and share the concerns expressed about the Government's intention to repeal the Human Rights Act and I can offer assurance that I will oppose any attempt to damage or dilute our human rights or to withdraw from the ECHR.


The Government are yet to spell out their precise plans in this area - indeed, they appear to be utterly confused about how they will now implement their manifesto commitment to scrap the Human Rights Act or whether they will withdraw from the ECHR.


I believe the Government should abandon their plans to repeal the Human Rights Act and I welcome that the Shadow Justice Secretary has urged the Government to do so.


I can assure you that I will carefully scrutinise any firm proposals the Government eventually bring forward on this and that I will continue to stand up for Britain's proud record on human rights. I have recently been lobbying the Foreign Office to place greater scrutiny on Bahrain’s human rights record.


I will continue to bear the thoughts of my constituents in mind if and when this issue is debated further in Parliament.

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