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70 Tory MPs vote to repeal the Human Rights Act

By Matthew Barrett
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BACON RICHARDYesterday in Parliament, Richard Bacon, a Conservative backbencher, tried to introduce a Bill which would repeal the Human Rights Act 1998. One of Mr Bacon's lines of argument was that the legal requirement for Ministers to amend legislation - without a vote in Parliament - in order to comply with European human rights legislation - is "fundamentally undemocratic":

"Under section 10, a Minister of the Crown may make such amendments to primary legislation as are considered necessary to enable the incompatibility to be removed by the simple expedient of making an order. In effect, because the accepted practice is that the United Kingdom observes its international obligations, a supranational court can impose its will against ours. In my view this is fundamentally undemocratic."

Mr Bacon also compellingly argued that the controversial social issues that judges often like to get involved in should be decided by "elected representatives and not by unelected judges":

"[T]here is no point in belonging to a club if one is not prepared to obey its rules. The solution is therefore not to defy judgments of the Court, but rather to remove the power of the Court over us. ... Judges do not have access to a tablet of stone not available to the rest of us which enables them to discern what our people need better than we can possibly do as their elected, fallible, corrigible representatives. There is no set of values that are so universally agreed that we can appeal to them as a useful final arbiter. In the end they will always be shown up as either uselessly vague or controversially specific. Questions of major social policy, whether on abortion, capital punishment, the right to bear firearms or workers rights, should ultimately be decided by elected representatives and not by unelected judges."

When the motion was put to the House, it was rejected by 195 votes to 72. Those Conservatives who voted not to reject the motion, and support the repeal of the Human Rights Act, are listed below.
  1. Peter Aldous
  2. David Amess
  3. Richard Bacon
  4. Stephen Barclay
  5. John Baron
  6. Andrew Bingham
  7. Brian Binley
  8. Bob Blackman
  9. Crispin Blunt
  10. Peter Bone
  11. Angie Bray
  12. Andrew Bridgen
  13. Dan Byles
  14. Alun Cairns
  15. William Cash
  16. James Clappison
  17. David Davies
  18. Philip Davies
  19. Jackie Doyle-Price
  20. James Duddridge
  21. Charlie Elphicke
  22. Graham Evans
  23. Mark Field
  24. Andrew Griffiths
  25. Robert Halfon
  26. Gordon Henderson
  27. Nick Herbert
  28. Philip Hollobone
  29. Adam Holloway
  30. Sir Gerald Howarth
  31. Stewart Jackson
  32. Bernard Jenkin
  33. Gareth Johnson
  34. Marcus Jones
  35. Andrea Leadsom
  36. Peter Lilley
  37. Karen Lumley
  38. Anne Main
  39. Jason McCartney
  40. Stephen McPartland
  41. Stephen Metcalfe
  42. Nigel Mills
  43. Andrew Mitchell
  44. Anne Marie Morris
  45. David Morris
  46. Stephen Mosley
  47. Sheryll Murray
  48. David Nuttall
  49. Matthew Offord
  50. Neil Parish
  51. Stephen Phillips
  52. Christopher Pincher
  53. Mark Reckless
  54. Jacob Rees-Mogg
  55. Laurence Robertson
  56. Andrew Rosindell
  57. Henry Smith
  58. Mark Spencer
  59. Iain Stewart
  60. Graham Stuart
  61. Justin Tomlinson
  62. Andrew Turner
  63. Martin Vickers
  64. Charles Walker
  65. Robin Walker
  66. Mike Weatherley
  67. Heather Wheeler
  68. Craig Whittaker
  69. John Whittingdale
  70. Bill Wiggin
  71. Sarah Wollaston

The full arguments can be read on Hansard.


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