May wants to change human rights laws to combat terror threats

Armed police officers patrol on the streets of London

In a statement, United Kingdom campaign group Liberty accused May of wanting to rip up British human rights laws.

"It's all about making up for her lacklustre, flagging election campaign".

"I mean making it easier for the authorities to deport foreign terrorist suspects back to their own countries".

"This is exactly the time that human rights must be protected and cherished, not attacked and undermined". The Human Rights Act didn't cause any problems in those key areas. "What people want I think is preventative action and that's why, in fairness to everyone this has affected, let's concentrate on the issue at hand".

The prime minister and her Labour Party opponent, Jeremy Corbyn, set out on whistle-stop tours of the country ahead of Thursday's vote, with polls all showing May's Conservatives ahead but disagreeing about whether the race is close.

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Yesterday, speaking to an audience in Slough, May laid out plans to tackle extremism.

Eighth London bridge victim "may have been thrown into the Thames " Mrs May said: '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.

May said that she was looking at "how to make it easier to transport foreign terror suspects and to increase controls on extremists where it is thought they present a threat, but there is not enough evidence to act against them".

May added: "And I mean doing more to restrict the freedom and the movements of terrorist suspects when we have enough evidence to know they present a threat, but not enough evidence to prosecute them in full in court".

May could also attempt to increase the period for which terror suspects can be held without trial, now 14 days - a move that provoked clashes with civil liberties campaigners when Tony Blair attempted it after the 7 July 2005 attacks. It was reduced to 14 days in 2011. "Whenever TMay [Theresa May] in trouble she whips out the old anti human rights rhetoric".

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Tougher laws and police powers may fail to prevent low-technology attacks, such as the two van-and-knives assaults that occurred in London, and may well end up alienating British Muslims, he said.

The opposition Labour Party said that was "not the message that we should be sending".

The security services have come under pressure after it emerged one of the attackers, Khuram Butt, 27, had been reported to the anti-terror hotline in 2015.

Damian Green, the work and pensions minister, defended May's "common sense" proposals on Today.

"The prime minister is proposing common-sense measures that would potentially give the police more powers to control people who there may not be enough evidence to bring to court", he told the BBC.

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"A new approach may be needed through the expert knowledge of global lawyers to develop a solution by defining the word "risk" in the convention so that governments are given a duty to protect the population against the interests of the individual, and the balance of evidence for this is not the same weighting that is used now in the courts".

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