Theresa May has said she is prepared to throw out human rights laws if they restrict new tougher legislation to tackle terrorism.
The Prime Minister said she will make it easier to deport foreign terror suspects back “to their own countries” and would “restrict the freedom and movements of terrorist suspects” if re-elected on 8 June.
Addressing supporters in Slough just 36 hours before the polls open, she vowed to change the laws if they impeded efforts to fight the increasingly “complex” terror threat.
“As we see the threat changing, evolving, becoming a more complex threat, we need to make sure that our police and security and intelligence agencies have the powers they need,” Ms May said.
“I mean longer prison sentences for people convicted of terrorist offences. I mean making it easier for the authorities to deport foreign terrorist suspects back to their own countries.
She continued: “And I mean doing more to restrict the freedom and the movements of terrorist suspects when we have enough evidence to know they are a threat, but not enough evidence to prosecute them in full in court.
“And if our human rights laws stop us from doing it, we will change the laws so we can do it.
“If I am elected as Prime Minister on Thursday, that work begins on Friday.”
The comments could signify another U-turn for the Conservatives on their manifesto commitment that promised to keep Britain in the European Convention on Human Rights until 2022.
It comes just hours after Ms May said she expects police and security services to launch a review into Saturday’s terrorist attack in London Bridge and Borough Market, which claimed seven lives.
Security services have come under increasing pressure after it emerged one of the attackers, Khuram Butt, 27, had been reported to the anti-terror hotline in 2015.
It also emerged the third attacker to be named, Youssef Zaghba, had been reported to UK and Moroccan authorities by Italian intelligence agencies after he attempted to fly to Turkey and travel on to Syria last year.
“MI5 and the police have already said they would be reviewing how they dealt with Manchester and I would expect them to do exactly the same in relation to London Bridge,” she told Sky News.
“What government needs to do is, and what the government that comes in after Thursday’s election needs to be willing to do, is to give more powers to the police and security service when they need them, needs to deal with this issue of terrorism and extremism online and also needs to be able to call out extremism here in the United Kingdom.”
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