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Terror law peer supports control orders

5 January 2011

The ongoing controversy over whether to retain control orders for UK terror suspects has flared up once again, following comments from the Liberal Democrat peer Lord Carlile, in an interview with The Sun newspaper. Lord Carlile, the Government’s independent reviewer of terror legislation, warned Parliament would not be forgiven if the orders were scrapped and the UK suffered another major terror attack.

However, the peer went on to concede the orders, which can see those suspected of involvement with terrorism facing curfews and electronic tagging, may need to be reformed.

Carlile is a long-time supporter of control orders, despite his personal distaste for the principle they represent.

"Security and police chiefs have made clear the necessity for the orders. We ignore their advice literally at our peril," he said. "The courage to protect public safety surely will be recognised. The failure to do so will not be forgiven if some terrible terrorism event happens."

A review of counter-terrorism legislation, due to be published in 2010, has been delayed to allow further negotiations between ministers, who insist to decision over the future of control orders has yet been reached.

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