Andrew Smith MP

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Defend human rights – Andrew calls on government to drop plans to scrap the Human Rights Act

Andrew has shown his support for the United Nations International Human Rights Day by calling upon the Government to drop their plans to repeal the Human Rights Act (HRA).

Andrew said: “The Human Rights Act protects the right to privacy, the right to a fair trial, the right to freedom of speech, and many other crucial rights. In marking International Human Rights Day and pledging to fight against the Tory plans, it’s important to acknowledge how thousands of people across the country, from innocent victims of crime to people with a disability, rely on the Human Rights Act to protect them. That’s something we should be proud of.”

The HRA, passed in 1998 with cross-party support, has come under threat following a manifesto commitment from the Government to “scrap the HRA, and introduce a British Bill of Rights” and Lord Chancellor Michael Gove is expected to publish a draft bill early next year.

International Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1950, the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.

Shadow Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer, said: “The Human Rights Act is one of Labour’s proudest achievements. Repealing it would be disastrous not only for people at home but for the message it would send to people around the world still fighting for the rights it protects. David Cameron and Michael Gove should listen, drop their plans now and protect our human rights.”

Labour’s Shadow Human Rights Minister Andy Slaughter, said: “International Human Rights Day is a very timely occasion to reflect on what a positive impact documents such as the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights have made to our lives in the United Kingdom.”

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