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Former head of MI5 declares 42-day detention plans are ‘unworkable’

UK Daily Mail [1]
Tuesday, July 8, 2008

THE former head of MI5 yesterday savaged Gordon Brown’s controversial anti-terror laws as ‘unworkable’.

Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller dealt a major blow to the Prime Minister’s authority by blasting plans to hold terror suspects for 42 days.

In an incendiary maiden speech to the House of Lords, she said the proposals were flawed on a ‘practical basis as well as a principled one’.

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She spoke as a former head of West Midlands Police said locking up suspected extremists without charge would ‘inflame terrorism’.

The ex-spy chief’s first public words on the row piled fresh pressure on Downing Street.

Mr Brown already faces a crushing defeat when the Lords vote on extending pre-charge detention from the current 28 days later this year.

He narrowly avoided disaster last month when 42-day detention scraped through the Commons by just nine votes.

Despite a rebellion by 36 Labour backbenchers, he narrowly avoided a humiliating defeat by relying on the Democratic Unionists to provide his entire majority of nine.

But Lady Manningham-Buller’s intervention gives Mr Brown a fresh headache as it could embolden wavering Labour MPs to oppose the plans.

Full article here [1]