Blair unveils plan to deport extremists

The Home Secretary will have greater freedom to exclude and deport foreigners preaching hate and violence. And ministers were also looking at strengthening powers to deal with home-grown fanatics, Mr Blair announced.

If necessary MPs will be recalled from their lengthy summer break and the UK could renounce parts of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Prime Minister pledged.

"Coming to Britain is not a right and even when people have come here staying here carries with it a duty," he said. "That duty is to share and support the values that sustain the British way of life.

"Those that break that duty and try and incited or engage in violence against our country or our people have no place here."

At a pre-holiday press conference in Downing Street, Mr Blair outlined

wide-ranging action in 12 areas.

The key was dealing with the foreign extremists who provide the " ideological drive" for British fanatics like the London suicide bombers, Mr Blair said.

Clerics coming in to preach at British mosques will have to be vetted to ensure they do not pose a threat while those already here will be deported, the Prime Minister said.

British courts have previously refused to return anyone who faces the threat of torture or death in their home country.

The Government was now working on agreements with 10 such countries so they can be sent back.

The Government will repeatedly test the new arrangements in the courts but if problems remained then Britain's interpretation of the convention could be changed, he pledged.

Such a revision has been called for by Conservatives but will be opposed by human rights activists.

"Anybody who is a foreign national who is inciting or engaging in extremism in this country should be out," Mr Blair said.

Mr Blair said opposition to earlier anti-terror measures showed he would have had no chance of getting the new proposals through before the July 7 attack.

However, the national mood had now changed, the Prime Minister said.

"Most people recognise the climate in which these measures are being taken is somewhat different," he said.

"People can't come here and abuse our good nature and our tolerance, come here and start inciting our young people into violence."

Mr Blair's wife Cherie, a leading human rights lawyer, recently warned the Government should not be provoked into interfering with the independence of the courts.

The Prime Minister insisted that the right to life and freedom from terror was a basic human right.

"I have never accepted this idea that there is a choice between the concept of human rights and the concept of protecting the country from terrorism," he said.

"People have a right to be protected from terrorism."

Mr Blair went out of his way to repeatedly stress that the measures were aimed at extremists, not ordinary Muslims.

"This is not in any sense aimed at the decent, law-abiding Muslim community of Britain," he said.

"We know this fringe does not truly represent Islam. We know British Muslims in general abhor the actions of the extremists."

The Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy warned that the proposals threaten the political consensus created by the bombings.

"The public mood has certainly shifted on the question of whether we should allow foreign nationals who incite violence to enter or stay in the UK," he said.

"However, today's list of announcements has put the cross-party consensus under serious strain.

"The Government agreed to properly consult opposition parties on their proposals, but this agreement seems to have broken down.

"No mention was made of the proposals during a briefing the Liberal Democrats received from the Home Office yesterday, and it appears that even they may not have been aware of the Prime Minister's plans."

Banning Muslim organisations, closing mosques and deporting people who visit certain bookshops or websites risks "inflaming tensions", Mr Kennedy said.

The measures could mean "alienating Muslims at the very time we need the different communities of Britain to pull together".

"The Liberal Democrats will examine the detail of these measures, but the Prime Minister should not count on our support," he said.

"We shall reserve our position until we have consulted properly ourselves - albeit against a constrained August timetable."

On Mr Blair's indication that the Human Rights Act could be amended, Eric Metcalfe of human rights group Justice said: "A British court would never accept a diplomatic assurance from a country that tortures its own citizens.

"Any attempt to amend the Human Rights Act to force courts to do otherwise is doomed to failure.

"A free society doesn't fight terrorists by exporting them to other countries. It prosecutes them here in the UK."

Suggested Topics
News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
News
i100
Sport
footballLatest scores and Twitter updates
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
Life and Style
The spring/summer 2015 Louis Vuitton show for Paris Fashion Week
fashion
Voices
voices
Sport
Ronaldinho signs the t-shirt of a pitch invader
footballProof they are getting bolder
News
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
Extras
indybestKeep extra warm this year with our 10 best bedspreads
Life and Style
health
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Associate Recrutiment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad