Blunkett unveils tougher anti-terror plans

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Wide-ranging emergency anti-terrorism laws were announced today by the Home Secretary after the attacks on America last month.

David Blunkett told MPs that a new Anti-Terrorism Bill would include tougher powers to remove suspected terrorists from the UK.

Security would be strengthened at airports and on board aircraft, and British Transport Police would be given wider powers to tackle terrorism.

The law on incitement would be extended to cover religious, as well as racial, hatred, he confirmed.

In a statement, Mr Blunkett stressed: "There is no immediate intelligence pointing to a specific threat to the UK, but we remain alert, domestically as well as internationally."

Pledging to strike a balance between civil liberties and the need to combat the terrorist threat, he added: "The legislative measures I have outlined will protect and enhance our rights, not diminish them.

"If we fail now to take the necessary action to protect our people, future generations will never forgive us."

The measures were given a broad welcome by shadow home secretary Oliver Letwin, although he warned against "over hasty" legislation, undertaken with insufficient scrutiny.