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Tuesday, 18 June, 2002, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Blunkett backs down over 'snoop' laws
EasyEverything internet cafe
Destination of e-mails and mobile calls under scrutiny
The home secretary admits he made a mistake over plans to give public bodies greater access to e-mail and phone records and puts the idea on hold.

David Blunkett's party has been under fire lately for over-spinning. It's been attacked for issuing statements in which apologies are implied but never actually given.

Well today even Mr Blunkett's political opponents couldn't accuse him of any of that.

In his own words the home office "blundered". If you're in a hole, stop digging, he said.

He's abandoned his controversial plans to greatly widen the powers of public bodies to snoop on private communications.

After a welter of criticism from opposition parties and a variety of campaign groups, Mr Blunkett's going back to the drawing board.

For groups like Liberty, who campaigned vigourously against the Blunkett proposals, today's decision is very important.

We have an assessment of the turn-around and consider what an admission that a policy was mistaken does for a politician's standing.

We spoke to the seasoned political figures: Francis Maude, former Tory front-bencher; Lembit Opik, Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Wales; and Peter Bradley, Labour MP for the Wrekin.

Click on the links above right to hear more.

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 ON THIS STORY
Liberty's Campaign Director, Mark Littlewood
It's staggering that these proposals got this far
Frances Maude, Lembit Opik and Peter Bradley
How easy is it for a politician to say sorry?

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