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British Bill of Rights commissioner resigns

12 March 2012

The UK Government's Commission on a British Bill of Rights has suffered the loss of a Conservative member, who claims that the body is "deliberately ignoring" the wishes of Prime Minister David Cameron.

Dr Michael Pinto-Duschinsky announced yeaterday that he had resigned from the Commission, as he felt it had been "intending all along to issue a report in favour of the status quo”.

In a BBC interview he said he had no alternative, as it was "so important" to make human rights consistent with parliamentary sovereignty.

The Commission was set up by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, in an effort to bridge the gap between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats over human rights. It has eight members, and is chaired by retired civil servant Sir Leigh Lewis. It has been reported that the other commissioners had written to Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke, stating that Dr Pinto-Duschinsky’s presence was “significantly impeding its progress”.

Dr Pinto-Duschinsky claimed the other members had ignored his views and were not considering real change to current human rights laws.

Mr Clarke said the commission was independent and he had played no part in its workings.

The commission is expetec to produce its report towards the end of this year.

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