British Prime minister pledges to remove human rights protections

In one of her final speeches before Thursday's general election Theresa May stepped up rhetoric on security

British Prime minister pledges to remove human rights protections

British Prime Minister Theresa May at a rally in Slough ahead of Thursday’s general election, 06-06-2017. Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images

The British Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will rip up Britain’s human rights laws if they get in the way of tackling terrorism.

Speaking on the election campaign trail, the Prime Minister told supporters she would change laws to make it easier to deport or curb the movements of suspected militants – regardless of whether there was enough evidence to do so.

In one of her final speeches before Thursday’s British General Election, Mrs May stepped up her rhetoric against extremism and pledged to ensure security services have the powers they require.

"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,” she 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.

"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."

National security

The election campaign has been largely focused on national security in the wake of Britain’s third major terror attack this year.

Seven people were killed and 48 injured when terrorists drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before leaving the vehicle and continuing the attack with knives in the busy central London area.

Mrs May has come under fire since the attack, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn calling for her resignation over her record on police cuts.

There has been a 20,000 drop in the number of officers on the streets in Britain in the last six years.

Mrs May oversaw the cuts during her time as home secretary, and Mr Corbyn has accused her of trying to "protect the public on the cheap" by introducing the cuts despite a Police Federation warning over public safety.

She has pledged to ensure Britain remains a signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights until 2022 – should she win the election – however, her remarks today indicate a willingness bend the rules where necessary.

Last year, she pledged to make it possible to suspend the human rights convention in an effort to shield the British armed forces overseas from “vexatious” human rights abuse claims.