UK shadow home secretary resigns over terror law

Friday, June 13, 2008

David Davis in March
Image: Steve Punter.

Following yesterday's vote in the Houses of Parliament to allow UK authorities to detain suspects for up to 42 days without charge, the UK's Shadow Home Secretary Conservative MP David Davis has resigned. A by-election is to be fought in his seat of Haltemprice and Howden.

The move which was described as "a complete surprise" was announced to reporters outside Downing Street after the Speaker of the House refused to let the well known politician announce it in Westminster. The 59 year-old MP is well known in politics and had led the opposition against labour plans to extend detention length limits for suspected terrorists.

Davis has said that he will stand as a candidate in the by-election, which he claims he will use to promote civil liberties, saying "I will argue in this by-election against the slow strangulation of fundamental British freedoms by this government." He also said the move was a "noble endeavour" to address British civil liberties. The Liberal Democrats will not contest the by election, and their leader, Nick Clegg, met Mr. Davis. Nick Cleggs Liberal Democrats voted against 42 day detention as did the Conservatives. The controversial bill was passed by only 9 votes.

Conservative leader David Cameron, who had previously run against Davis in the race for election as the Conservative leader, said: "It was a personal decision, a decision he has made".


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