Earlier today the House of Lords voted by 135 to 48 to continue the existing system of Control Orders for a further year.  The Conservatives were urged by Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones, the Tory’s security spokesperson, to abstain.  The Tory position is in essence that they accept the need for Control Orders (there will always be a small number of individuals – currently fifteen – who are thought to be a serious risk to the country but who cannot be brought to trial because the evidence against them will not be admissable and cannot be deported either because they are British or because they could only be deported to a country where they would be executed or tortured), but they don’t want to be seen to vote in favour of them.  They say that the answer is to allow intercept evidence in court so that the individuals concerned could be tried, despite being told that even with evidence from intercepts they could still not be brought to trial.  And if that isn’t sufficient, more of the individuals should be deported presumably to countries where they can be tortured or summarily executed.  It doesn’t really add up to a convincing security policy.

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