A draft British bill of rights prepared by the former justice secretary Michael Gove has been rejected by the prime minister, a newspaper reported this morning – prompting speculation that the long-promised reform could be abandoned.
According to The Times, Theresa May (pictured) has asked Gove’s successor Liz Truss to look again at the plans.
The Gazette understands that the draft bill, which was promised in the 2015 Conservative manifesto, had been due for publication following the EU referendum.
But the paper reports today that May is unhappy with some of the draft bill’s proposals, in particular that the UK should remain signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights.
In a speech in April, May questioned the value of remaining a signatory, saying that: ‘The ECHR can bind the hands of parliament, adds nothing to our prosperity, makes us less secure by preventing the deportation of dangerous foreign nationals – and does nothing to change the attitudes of governments like Russia’s when it comes to human rights.’
The newspaper quotes a Whitehall source as saying: 'The bill is ready but my hunch is that she [the prime minister] might junk it. I think the priority for the justice department will be prison reform and she won’t want another fight with the Scottish government.
'I don’t think the will is there to drive it through.’
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: 'We will set out our proposals for a bill of rights in due course. We will consult fully on our proposals.'