Official: the snoopers’ charter is dead in this parliament

One element missing from the Queen’s Speech was the Communications Data Bill, aka the ‘snoopers’ charter’. No surprise to Lib Dems: Nick Clegg torpedoed it last month.

So I had a momentary spasm of concern to see on ConservativeHome this story from Mark Wallace: The Snoopers’ Charter comes sneaking back. Again.

I asked Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert (who’s played a crucial role in safeguarding civil liberties this parliament, including on this Bill) if there were any truth in it, and got an immediate reply…

… and another from Lib Dem president Tim Farron:

Here’s Mark Wallace’s reply:

As Mark highlights, the Home Office has a track record of returning to the scene of its civil liberties crimes. Joanthan Calder made this point strongly over at his Liberal England blog a couple of weeks ago: Lib Dem snooper’s charter victory is great, but we must be vigilant: “… the danger has not gone away. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance, and all that.”

And of course Lib Dems have within our own ranks — in the person of Lord (Alex) Carlile — one of the most avid agitators for new powers to be given to the authorities (aka protecting our freedoms by giving them up). Here he is on the BBC’s Daily Politics again making his familiar case for the erosion of civil liberties in the name of the greater good.

* Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from 2007 to 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

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2 Comments

  • We all have our areas where we strongly disagree with the party mainstream view, but I have to question why Lord Carlile insists on making a stand on this issue against the party. There is no chance the party position will budge and I’m not sure what he is achieving other than making the party look split. Time for him to focus his energies on other issues in my view, and I hope the leadership will ‘encourage’ him in that direction.

  • Andrew Suffield 9th May '13 - 8:23pm

    Indeed, Charles Farr will not quit just because this government said no. He’ll be making the next government introduce the same damn thing again and we’ll have to fight it off again – all at considerable public expense.

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