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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 October 2005, 22:12 GMT 23:12 UK
Compromise hint on terror plans
Geoff Hoon
The new laws are needed to tackle the terror threat, Mr Hoon says
The government could be ready to compromise on the proposal to allow detention of uncharged terror suspects for 90 days, Geoff Hoon has hinted.

The Liberal Democrats have already said they will vote against the plan; the Conservatives also have doubts over it.

Leader of the Commons Mr Hoon said the government would listen to "opinions... in Parliament and act accordingly".

But he added the government and police felt the laws were needed. MPs debate the Counter-Terrorism Bill on Monday.

"We have made clear all along that this bill is for discussion and debate," Mr Hoon told BBC Radio 4's The World This Weekend.

"We have recognised it does contain a number of measures which will excite interest. We will listen to the opinions set out in Parliament and act accordingly."

He added: "At the same time we are also putting forward proposals that we believe are necessary and the police believe are necessary in order to deal with the threat of international terrorism."

Consensus threatened

Home Secretary Charles Clarke wants cross-party consensus on the new Terrorism Bill, which was drawn up in response to the July bomb attacks in London, to get the laws through Parliament quickly.

The public don't want to see the fundamental principles of justice and liberty broken away
Mark Oaten
Lib Dem home affairs spokesman
But Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Mark Oaten made clear on Sunday that the party remained opposed to extending the detention time limit.

"As things stand, I don't think the case has been made for moving beyond the 14-day period we already have," Mr Oaten told BBC1's The Politics Show.

"What the public wants is sensible measures that will tackle terrorism, but they don't want to see the very fundamental principles of justice and liberty broken away."

The government last week revised its proposed ban on "glorifying" terrorist acts, to say that convictions would depend on people having "intended to incite" further acts.

Opponents had said the original proposal was unclear and could threaten civil liberties.


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