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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 July 2007, 13:51 GMT 14:51 UK
Tories may support terrorist measures
William Hague
If the government have compelling new evidence then of course they will find a ready audience to listen to that in all political parties
William Hague

In a week where terrorists have left an indelible mark, William Hague indicates the Tories may support an extension to the 28-day detention law.

The Shadow Foreign Secretary, William Hague, says the Conservatives might be prepared to support any proposal to extend from 28 days the time that terror suspects can be held without charge - as long as the government could put forward a good reason.

He told Jon Sopel: "If the government have compelling new evidence then of course they will find a ready audience to listen to that in all political parties, but they can't just expect Parliament to sign a blank cheque on these things.

"To give governments the power to detain people for months without charge does require specific evidence that that is necessary alongside the whole range of other measures that certainly are necessary in order to combat terrorism."

Iraq review

William Hague also called for the Cabinet to hold a formal review of the position in Iraq, in contrast to the American reviews that have taken place or are ongoing.

He said: "The war in Iraq, clearly has not turned out in the way that was hoped. We have a situation there, very, very different from the one that we hoped for and I think it is important for Cabinet to have a formal review of the position in Iraq.

"The American government are doing this, they have a formal review and an independent military commission as well, reporting in September.

"There's no such formal review talking place in Britain and I think that is important.

"Last time the Americans had the Baker-Hamilton Report, no review in Britain.

"It's very important for that process to take place in London, as well as in Washington."

Torrid Tory time?

With advent of the Gordon Brown government, William Hague responded to the thought that the past few weeks may have been difficult for the Conservatives.

"Well, no, not really. I mean I have the benefit of seeing these things in perspective of course, having led the Party a few years ago, and then we did really have a rotten time.

"There is not doubt about that. But what I see and feel now, in the Conservative Party, whether it is going around the Party and the country, or working in the Shadow Cabinet, is a far better spirit, a far more united Party, and a far more determined Party.

"And we certainly have the determination and resolve," he continued, "to show that this government isn't the change, it's not a new government, in many ways it's the worse part of the old government and that we do need the Conservatives to govern Britain again."


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The Politics Show Sunday 01 July 2007 at 12:00 BST on BBC One.

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