The Conservatives demanded new legislation on Wednesday to expel or extradite terrorist suspects living in Britain. Oliver Letwin, the shadow Home Secretary, said it was absurd that foreign nationals who might pose a threat to national security were resident in this country.
He said: "We cannot lecture others on the need for a global war against terrorism if we cannot take effective action at home." But he warned: "In seeking to protect our free society, we must not jeopardise the very liberty which makes that society so precious to us."
Mr Letwin said terrorist attacks on the United States would force Britain to review its measures to guard against domestic terrorist threats. He said: "We must look at the effectiveness of those agencies that are involved in domestic counter-terrorist activity. But there is a larger problem. Protecting our own society is not just a question of enforcing the law. It is also a question of having the right laws."
He added: "The situation in which we find ourselves is seriously absurd. There are citizens of other countries who are either believed by our security services to pose a threat to our safety or who are wanted by courts in other countries in connection with terrorist offences, who are able to enter Britain and remain [here] without the Home Secretary being able either to prevent them entering or to remove them."Reuse content