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Sturgeon: Scrapping Human Rights Act is irresponsible

Nicola Sturgeon believes scrapping the Human Rights Act will harm people in the UK. Credit: PA

Scrapping the Human Rights Act in the UK would diminish its reputation, Nicola Sturgeon will warn on Wednesday.

In a speech in Glasgow, Scotland's First Minister will say "no responsible government should even be considering such a step".

She believes the plan, an election pledge by the Conservatives, creates a "completely unnecessary dilemma" and "addresses no obvious problem".

"There is instead a clear risk that it will create legal confusion; harm people in the UK who need support and protection; and give comfort to illiberal governments around the world," Ms Sturgeon is expected to say.

Human Rights Act repeal absent from Queen's Speech

David Cameron's pledge to abolish the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British bill of rights was conspicuously absent from the Queen's Speech.

ITV News' Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports on why the PM decided his plans for abolishing the Act needed more work.

Sturgeon: SNP will block scrapping Human Rights Act

MPs for the Scottish National Party (SNP) will join forces with other opposition parties in an effort to block Tory plans to scrap the Human Rights Act, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Nicola Sturgeon has said the SNP will work to keep the Human Rights Act. Credit: Andrew Milligan / PA Wire/PA Images

The First Minister claimed the Conservatives' agenda "lacks legitimacy in Scotland", where David Cameron's party has just a single MP.

The SNP's priority is ending austerity, and the damage it does to people's lives - the Tory government's priority is ending human rights, and the opportunities for fairness they offer ordinary men and women.

For example, it was the Human Rights Act that enabled people to go to court in this country to challenge the grossly unfair bedroom tax.

To scrap the Human Rights Act would be an appallingly retrograde step.

– Nicola Sturgeon

The Scottish Government's Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners' Rights, Alex Neil, has already written written to UK Justice Secretary Michael Gove "to reiterate the Scottish Government's opposition to the repeal of the Human Rights Act".

Ms Sturgeon said she also raised the matter directly with the Prime Minister when they met and Holyrood could refuse consent to abolish the Act.

She added: "SNP MPs will work across party lines at Westminster to defeat the Tory government on the Human Rights Act - and the SNP Government will invite the Scottish Parliament to refuse legislative consent to scrap it, given the strong devolved dimension.

"This important issue illustrates how Holyrood working together with SNP MPs and others at Westminster can challenge a Tory agenda that lacks legitimacy in Scotland - and help the cause of progressive politics across the UK."

Government 'too timid' in Sri Lanka summit approach

The Government was too "timid" in its approach to allowing a prestigious Commonwealth summit to take place in Sri Lanka next month despite concerns over human rights in the country, MPs have said.

The cross-party group said the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) should have taken a "more robust stance" over the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which takes place in Colombo and will be attended by the Prime Minister.

The Foreign Affairs Select Committee said David Cameron should seek assurances from the authorities in Sri Lanka that anyone who raises human rights concerns with him at the meeting in Colombo will not face reprisals from the security forces.

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