Sunday 10 March 2013

A resignation we can ill afford

The Observer reports that Dinah Rose QC, a leading human rights barrister, has resigned her membership of the Liberal Democrats in protest at the most of its MPs supporting secret courts in last Monday’s Commons vote:
Citing her experience of secret hearings, she described Nick Clegg’s support for the government’s justice and security bill as a betrayal of the party’s guiding principles.
Rose said her decision to resign had not been “taken lightly or without great sadness”. She told the Observer: “The very first sentence of the Liberal Democrats’ constitution states that they exist to build a ‘fair, free, and open society’. The vote in favour of secret courts is an attack on the heart and soul of the party.”
In her resignation statement, Rose said: “The right to a fair hearing, and the right to open justice, are among the most fundamental of all our basic constitutional rights. I just cannot see what purpose is served by the party, if it is prepared to support the bill. I have therefore decided, with great regret, to resign my party membership.”
There is more on Jonathan Calder’s Liberal England blog.

Henry Porter’s column in the Observer is also well worth reading.

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