Tories exercise human right to policy fall out

1995 library filer of Chris Moncrieff. Photo by Peter Smith/PA

1995 library filer of Chris Moncrieff. Photo by Peter Smith/PA

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Are we already seeing the first major split in David Cameron’s new Government?

It is now beginning to look as though there will be some very tough talking at future Cabinet meetings over human rights.

A measure to secure Britain’s withdrawal from the European human rights system was surprisingly (some would say inexplicably) not included in last week’s Queen’s Speech outlining the Government’s programme for the coming session of Parliament.

The system has led to scores of cases where the recommended deportation by British courts of violent foreign criminals has been overturned in Europe.

But the plan to restore to Britain the right to conduct its own affairs without interference from Europe appears to have hit the buffers.

Cameron, possibly fearing that the plan would cause him an embarrassing defeat, appears to have rejected it.

But Justice Secretary Michael Gove and Home Secretary Theresa May - two of the most powerful Cabinet figures - say that this reform must go ahead.

Cameron may have hit the ground running with his ambitious Queen’s Speech in other respects, but he will certainly be stopped dead in his tracks over human rights. Whether he will succumb to the Gove-May axis remains to be seen. But he will certainly incur the wrath of millions of British voters if he obdurately sticks to his guns over this issue.

Ed Miliband? Who he? It seems as though Labour want to obliterate his name from their annals. He was barely mentioned (or even seen) during the opening stages of the Queen’s Speech debate in the Commons last week.

Many consider that Labour picked the wrong Miliband to lead the party. But would brother David have been any better? I doubt it. His speeches were staccato and far from persuasive. And what is more, he wrote an article in The Guardian when he was Foreign Secretary which was widely seen - although of course he denied it - as a botched and clumsy attempt to bid for the party leadership himself.

David Miliband, since then, has been hugely, even savagely critical of Gordon Brown’s premiership.

So all that now remains from the leadership tussle between the two brothers in 2010 is a Labour Party on the rocks and a family probably divided and ruptured for years ahead.