Last month, the Prime Minister responded to criticism of the 80-day break for MPs by hinting that the Commons would be summoned this month. Ministers considered recalling MPs next week. After that, a recall was always unlikely because the major parties will hold annual conferences in the following three weeks.
But the legislation is still being drafted and will not now be considered until after MPs return on 10 October. One Tory source dismissed Mr Blair's pledge to consider a recall as a "gimmick" to head off press criticism.
Yesterday the Prime Minister conceded that it might take longer than previously thought to deport Islamic extremists from Britain. He said the law may have to be amended to allow deportation of extremists to countries where they may face torture or inhumane treatment. Mr Blair said: "When I announced these measures I said we should prepare ourselves now, because you can serve the measures now, for a battle in the courts and possibly in parliament."
David Davis, the shadow Home Secretary, said he had warned when changes to the rules on deportations were announced that the wording of proposed legislation would have to be revised in order to overcome problems in the courts.
He said: "We have been saying for years that these people should be deported. We have called for either reform or repeal of the Human Rights Act. We have called for action to ensure that British courts behave in a similar way to some European courts on all this.
"Of course, it is now going to take time because the Government has taken so long to get started on it," Mr Davis said. "It will get our support in terms of doing that, but there will have to be changes in the law."