Page last updated at 17:03 GMT, Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Urgent question


Home Secretary Alan Johnson has rejected criticism of his decision not to block the extradition of computer hacker Gary McKinnon.

Mr Johnson said he had carefully considered fresh representations about the health of Mr McKinnon, who has Asperger's syndrome.

But he said information provided by his lawyers was "not materially different" from that placed before the High Court earlier this year and did not demonstrate that "sending Mr McKinnon to the US would breach his human rights".

Answering an urgent question in the Commons on 1 December 2009, Mr Johnson acknowledged there were "legitimate concerns" about Mr McKinnon's health but insisted the US authorities had provided assurances that his "needs will be met".

The accused man's MP, David Burrowes, highlighted concerns about Mr McKinnon's mental health.

He told MPs that Mr McKinnon would be at risk of self-harm or suicide if the extradition went ahead, describing the home secretary's refusal to block the extradition on medical grounds as "spineless".


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