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Sunday, 23 September, 2001, 11:49 GMT 12:49 UK
MPs urge parliament recall
Tony Blair
Tony Blair: Keeping the matter under constant review
Two senior MPs have urged Tony Blair to recall parliament so it can deal with the crisis following the terror attacks in the US.

Labour MP Tam Dalyell and former Conservative cabinet minister John Redwood said MPs needed to get an up-to-date report on the prime minister's discussions with US President George W Bush.

They also believe parliament should be told whether UK laws need strengthening following the approval at Friday's European summit of new European-wide anti-terrorist measures.

But Home Secretary David Blunkett told the BBC any such legislation would not be rushed through in the next two weeks.

There would have to be full parliamentary discussion of the matter he told BBC One's On The Record programme.

Tam Dalyell
Tam Dalyell: Recall before troops are committed
Mr Blair has been on a hectic round of meetings with world leaders since the terror attacks in the US on 11 September.

When the House of Commons and House of Lords held emergency debates 10 days ago, Mr Blair said the need for a further recall of parliament would be kept under constant review.

Many MPs thought that would mean if military action went ahead, there would be further sittings of parliament, even if it meant abandoning the party political conferences to be held over the next three weeks.

Mr Dalyell, the longest-serving member of parliament, said MPs should be recalled to Westminster before British troops were committed to any kind of action.

Anti-terrorist measures

Mr Redwood believed a recall was necessary to discuss the new European-wide anti-terrorist measures including a common arrest warrant which were agreed at Friday's emergency summit in Brussels.

European Union justice and interior ministers agreed the tough new measures.

John Redwood
John Redwood: Need to discuss EU-wide measures
They included the creation of an anti-terrorist unit within Europol, closure of financial loopholes that terrorists are able to exploit, tough new border controls and a common definition of terrorism.

Downing Street said there were no plans for an immediate recall but reaffirmed that Mr Blair had made it clear parliament would be kept fully informed of any developments.

Labour said it was still planning to go ahead with its party conference in Brighton.

But it said the possibility of the meeting being abandoned in the event of military action was being kept under constant review.

The BBC's Nicholas Jones
"They believe there should be an opportunity to test the Government in Parliament"

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See also:

21 Sep 01 | Americas
A warm New York welcome
20 Sep 01 | Europe
EU gears up to fight terrorism
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