British Bill of Rights plan 'could be junked' by Theresa May

Posted On: 
10th August 2016

Government plans to replace the Human Rights Act could apparently be “junked” in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union.

Prime Minister Theresa May could be set to bin plans for a British Bill of Rights
Credit: 
PA Images

Plans to introduce a ‘British Bill of Rights’ were in the Conservative manifesto last year but the Government has repeatedly delayed bringing forward detailed proposals. 

Whitehall sources have told The Times the idea could yet be scrapped.

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Theresa May has reportedly asked Justice Secretary Liz Truss to rethink the plan.

“It was all ready to go,” a Whitehall source told the paper.

“The work had been done bringing onside most of the critics in parliament and it was clear that there were the votes there to get it through.”

Another added: “The bill is ready but my hunch is that she might junk it. I think the priority for the justice department will be prison reform and she won’t want another fight with the Scottish government [which is opposed to the policy].

“I just don’t think the will is there to drive it through.”

The bill was meant to be the biggest shake-up of human rights laws in two decades, handing new protections to armed forces overseas and offering explicit “freedom of expression” rights.

The Prime Minister was apparently unhappy with some of its proposals, especially a concession that the UK would remain part of the European Court of Human Rights.

Her chief of staff, Nick Timothy, has said the bill would be counterproductive unless the UK pulled out of the ECHR.

But Mrs May has said she will not pursue her preference to withdraw from the ECHR, conceding that there is no majority in the Commons for such a move.