Massive public support for tough terror controls – poll

By DAVID WOODING

TERRORIST suspects should be put under strict new control orders to curb their movements, Theresa May has been warned.

Most people think the system of monitoring extremists is useless and want Britain’s homeland security beefed up urgently.

Six out of ten are demanding the return of control orders, scrapped in 2011 because they infringed the liberty of suspects.

And they want British Muslims who leave to fight with jihadists in Syria or Iraq placed under house arrest when they return to the UK.

The PM is urged to take a much harder line on home-grown radicals in an exclusive ICM poll for The Sun on Sunday.

Brits gave Mrs May a powerful message of support for almost any action to protect keep the country safe – even if it hits their own civil liberties.

The majority of people believe human rights laws are too heavily tilted in favour of terrorists and criminals and not the public they are meant to protect.

Seven out of ten believe security services should be given more power to spy on people – by checking phone, internet and email data.

An overwhelming 72 per cent believe snooping is justified, even if it erodes civil liberties. They outnumber those opposed to it by a massive eight to one.

Two-thirds of people are in favour of companies being compelled to give up encrypted mobile phone data to spy chiefs. They believe this would disrupt terrorists using phone apps to plot their atrocities without being detected.

Tory MP Tim Loughton, who sits on the Commons home affairs committee, said last night: “This poll shows just how much the whole argument around terrorism and civil liberties has moved on.

“People are now overwhelmingly more concerned about keeping our country safe in the wake of recent atrocities on the continent.

“If that means giving up some of our civil liberties, it’s a price that many people feel is worth paying.”

FullSizeRender (3)

Support for more draconian action against extremists has grown in the wake of recent atrocities in Nice and Paris.

And our poll suggest they Mrs May would boost her no-nonsense image if she were to bring back control orders.

The tool was used to put suspects under house arrest, restrict where they travel, who they meet and stop them using the internet or smart phones.

But they were ditched by the coalition government after protests from Lib Dem deputy leader Nick Clegg that they breached human rights.

They were replaced by weaker Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures, known as T-Pims.

But only one terrorist in Britain is subject to the order – and he is using taxpayers’ money to fight a legal battle to have it lifted.

This is despite there being at least 2,000 fanatics at large in Britain, The Sun on Sunday revealed last week.

More than half of people – 58 per cent – think that terror suspects restricted by any court order should be banned from claiming legal aid to fight it, our poll reveals.

Some 41 per cent believe human rights laws give most protection to criminals and those engaged in the planning of terrorist acts. This compares with only 33 per cent who think they safeguard the public and victims of crime and terrorism.

The T-Pim order – the toughest tool at the disposal of security services – is seen as ineffective by most people.

And 63 per cent would support the return of the more restrictive control order – ten times the number who would oppose it.

Even among young people – more guarded about civil liberties – there is overwhelming support for it.

Fifty per cent of people aged 18 to 24 support control orders, compared with 13 per cent in the same age bracket who oppose them.

A similar number, 62 per cent, say all British subjects who chose to fight in support of IS in war zones such as Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan should automatically be subject to orders on their return.

Mr Loughton said the poll highlights a changing mood in the general public in response to the heightened terrorist threat.

The MP added: “We are only too aware of the enemy beyond the Channel but we now need to define the way we deal with the enemy within.

“That must mean better surveillance and anybody who has been to war zones such as Syria should be more strictly monitored. This is a wake-up call.

“Despite the fantastic work our intelligence and security services do to keep us safe, the law needs to be toughened to make sure the terrorist menace does not get across the Channel to wreak havoc with the every-day freedoms we often take for granted.”

Seven in ten would support restrictions on their OWN freedom of movement around the EU if it made it harder for terrorists to operate freely.

One in four believes Britain will be safer once we have left the EU – but nearly half think it will make no difference.

Advertisements

EU referendum – a running sore for David Cameron

By DAVID WOODING

DAVID Cameron faced the biggest Tory revolt in modern history tonight in a row that looks set to dog the rest of his Premiership.

Mr Cameron crushed the rebellion thanks to support from Labour and Lib Dem MPs but it left wounded and festering backbenchers vowing never to surrender on the issue.

Up to 80 of Mr Cameron’s own troops opposed him in the Commons tonight and voted in favour of a referendum on Britain’s EU membership.

It was biggest revolt suffered by a Conservative Prime Minister since 41 defied Sir John Major to oppose the Maastricht Treaty in 1993.

Labour leader Ed Miliband taunted: “This massive Tory rebellion is a humiliation for the Prime Minister.”

Some 111 MPs of all parties backed the referendum call, not enough to clinch victory on the issue. Early estimates suggest that about 80 of them were Tories.

Resentment is now mounting not only over the result, but his handling of the issue, with some claiming they were threatened by heavy-handed government whips.

Costly mistake

Two ministerial aides have quit and one private parliamentary secretary is said to have needed medical attention after he fainted during a stern showdown with the PM.

The rebels were given a further boost by two polls tonight which show voters are overwhelmingly on their side

Two-thirds of the public want a straight “in or out” referendum onBritain’s membership of the European Union, according to a ComRes survey for ITV News.

More than half – 54 per cent – believe that joining the union has been a costly mistake, delivering more problems than advantages.

But they are equally divided on full withdrawal – 37 per cent agree and 37 per cent disagree – but 41 per cent want the government to negotiate better membership terms.

And more than half would support pulling out if striking a better deal was not possible.

More than 130,000 have already signed a petition demanding a say on Britain’s future relationship with Europe.

An ICM poll for tomorrow’s Guardian shows 70 per cent want a referendum, with 49 per cent prepared to vote to pull out and only 40 per cent to stay in.

UK Independence Party chief Nigel Farage said: “It is fascinating watching the Conservatives tear themselves apart over this.

Wrong 

“Polls over the last few days have shown clearly that the general public believe MPs should be able to vote how they like regarding an EU referendum.”

But Mr Cameron insisted voting to leave Europe at a time of financial crisis would be like deserting your neighbours when their houses are on fire when you should be helping and stopping it from spreading to your home.

Foreign Secretary William Hague told MPs a referendum on our future in Europe was the “wrong question at the wrong time”.

With the euro in meltdown, and Britain having to stump up billions to keep it afloat, the row looks set to drag on.

After the economy, it could turn out to be one of the biggest issues to dog Mr Cameron’s premiership.

Follow me on Twitter: @davidwooding