Coalition split on online monitoring
Andrew Grice has been Political Editor of The Independent since 1998. He was previously Political Editor of The Sunday Times, where he worked for 10 years, and he has been a Westminster-based journalist since 1982. His column, Inside Politics, appears in The Independent each Saturday.
Monday 09 April 2012
David Cameron will have to resolve a split in the Coalition over a "Big Brother" plan to allow monitoring of everyone's online activity.
Theresa May, the Home Secretary, said yesterday she hoped for quick action on a Bill to permit the police and intelligence services to obtain details of messages sent via Skype and social networks. She said: "I would expect us to be able to do this in the next session [of parliament starting next month]." Her remarks appeared at odds with Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, who promised anxious Liberal Democrats last week that the controversial Bill would be published in draft form only to ensure widespread consultation – a move which could delay its passage through parliament.
Yesterday Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat president, confirmed a report in The Independent on Saturday that his party could "kill" the Bill unless it is watered down. He told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "If we think this is a threat to a free and liberal society then there would be no question of unpicking them or compromising, this just simply must not happen."
Ms May also promised a crackdown on the "abuse" of human rights laws that stop foreign criminals being deported. She said tougher immigration rules would be in place by the summer to stop all but the most "exceptional cases"succeeding on appeal using the "right to a family life" to stay in Britain, she told The Sunday Telegraph.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...