Page last updated at 15:41 GMT, Thursday, 12 June 2008 16:41 UK

Reaction: Davis resignation

Leading political figures give their reaction to the unexpected resignation of shadow home secretary David Davis.

DAVID CAMERON, CONSERVATIVE LEADER

David Cameron interview

I want to say that I absolutely agree with him about the appalling decision to have 42 days' detention without charge. We will continue to fight against that as a party... I wish David Davis well in his by-election campaign.



JACQUI SMITH, HOME SECRETARY

Faced with a crucial decision on the safety and protection of the British public, the Conservatives have collapsed into total disarray on what is their first big policy test since they have come under greater scrutiny. David Cameron must come clean on what has really happened and why David Davis has really resigned.

DAVID BLUNKETT, FORMER HOME SECRETARY

David Davis's behaviour is a pure piece of political theatre, even more bizarre than John Major resigning as leader of the Tory Party in order to stand again against his own colleagues. This is childish and immature and it is not worthy of a major political party to engage in such theatre.

JULIE KIRKBRIDE, CONSERVATIVE MP

I've been very well aware of just how passionate David Davis feels about this for a long time... Whilst it's an unusual step, it's an incredibly brave step... It's an incredibly powerful thing for a politician to put his career on the line to make this stand.

DOMINIC GRIEVE, NEW SHADOW HOME SECRETARY

I know how strongly he feels about the erosion of civil liberties and how worried he is about the growth of an authoritarian and surveillance society. So, seeing that strength of feeling, I can fully understand why he's wanted to say in the light of this vote that he wants this. This is a matter which he wants to put to his electors.

DAVID HILL, FORMER LABOUR COMMUNICATIONS CHIEF

This has been a quite extraordinary day. We began with it [42 days] apparently being a problem for Gordon Brown... Before we know it we have Tory division and confusion... David Davis sounded slightly unhinged.

NICK CLEGG, LIBERAL DEMOCRAT LEADER

Nick Clegg interview

[Explaining why his party will not field a candidate in the by-election involving David Davis] I think it is right from time to time to signal as a party leader that we are capable of setting aside the pursuit of narrow party-political advantage in the name of that wider principle.


NIGEL EVANS, CONSERVATIVE MP

I'm staggered and stunned... It proves how committed and passionate David Davis is about his politics and the 42-days detention without charge that he is prepared to put his career on the line.. We need people of principle. We need people of passion. We need people who are committed to freedoms that people have lost their lives for.

HAZEL BLEARS, COMMUNITIES SECRETARY

The Tories are plainly in disarray and confusion over the serious issue of national security. Behind Cameron's facade are the same old Tories fighting like ferrets in a sack. This forced by-election is a farce - and an insult to the voters in Haltemprice and Howden.

CAROLINE FLINT, HOUSING MINISTER

It clearly shows a dispute at the top of the Tory Party as to their approach to dealing with issues around countering terrorism. I think there'll be a lot of questions being asked at the Tory high command today and over the weekend about just what is going on... I think this is a waste of public money, David Davis taking this action, but that's his call and he'll have to answer for that.

SHAMI CHAKRABARTI, DIRECTOR OF LIBERTY PRESSURE GROUP

Last night's debate, and the brave Labour rebels in particular, showed that democrats from across the spectrum care passionately about rights and freedoms. MPs of all parties hold courage and conviction about these values and few more so than David Davis.

IAIN DALE, CONSERVATIVE BLOGGER

I'm as shocked as anyone. I didn't see it coming at all... It shows how deeply he feels about the issue. We all say we need more conviction politicians on politics and you couldn't get more conviction than sacrificing your own seat.

CLARE SHORT, INDEPENDENT MP AND EX-CABINET MINISTER

I admire him for it... Suddenly he's shaken up the whole system and he's certainly not doing it for his own benefit. Yes it is crazy, but it is also brave, and brave and crazy sometimes go together.

DENIS MACSHANE, LABOUR MP

It's like something out of Italian comic opera. We all get issues where we get angry, but we don't resign over them. I hope the other parties don't dignify what is clearly a one-man stunt... O think David will be re-elected and people will see straight through this.

DAVID WILSHIRE, CONSERVATIVE MP

I am saddened that a good friend feels compelled to take such a drastic step, but I understand how strongly he feels about this abuse of human rights and the rule of law and I respect him for putting his beliefs before his personal interests. I sincerely hope we will be able to welcome him back soon.

PHIL BOOTH, NO2ID PRESSURE GROUP

NO2ID applauds David Davis's extraordinary decision to put his career on the line in denouncing the destruction of our basic liberties. This principled move by such a serious and respected politician clearly acknowledges the database state as one of the principal threats to our freedoms.




FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific