Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Bill — Indefinite detention of suspected terrorists — 21 Nov 2001 at 20:45

The majority of MPs voted in favour of setting up a scheme which allowed for the indefinite detention without charge of a "suspected international terrorist".[1][2]

(This vote followed one which set up a scheme whereby the Home Secretary could issue a certificate that someone is an international terrorist.)[3]

Specifically, these powers were exercised under the laws enabling the arrest and detention of non-UK citizens pending deportation[4] despite the fact that removal or departure from the United Kingdom is prevented by international law (eg they would be tortured or killed in the country they were sent to).

In practice up to 20 suspects were held in secret in Belmarsh without access to the evidence against them.[5]

As this breached the European Convention on Human Rights, the United Kingdom applied a derogation by declaring that there was a public emergency threatening the existence of the nation.[6] This declaration was approved by a vote of MPs two days later.[7]

Owing to a Sunset Clause in the Act, these powers had to be renewed approximately annually until 2006.[8]

The 2003 renewal by Parliament followed a debate without a vote.[8] The 2004 renewal of the powers was voted on without a debate.[9]

In December 2004 the Law Lords ruled that the application of these laws violated the Human Rights Act because it discriminated against non-citizens (UK citizens could just as well be terrorists, but would not be subject to this law) and that there was in fact no evident threat to the life of the nation. Furthermore, they added that such a threat -- in the sense of a people living in accordance with its traditional laws and political values -- "comes not from terrorism but from laws such as these."[10]

The state of public emergency was accordingly lifted in 2005,[11] and the suspects were released to serve under a regime of Control orders.

Debate in Parliament | Historical Hansard | Source |

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (Aye)Minority (No)BothTurnout
Con0 201.2%
DUP4 0080.0%
Lab340 (+2 tell) 11 (+2 tell)086.6%
LDem0 48092.3%
PC0 40100.0%
SNP0 50100.0%
UUP2 0033.3%
Total:346 70065.0%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

Mr Andrew BennettDenton and ReddishLabno
Jeremy CorbynIslington NorthLabtellno
Mr Tam DalyellLinlithgowLabno
Mark FisherStoke-on-Trent CentralLabno
George GallowayGlasgow Kelvinwhilst Labno
Dr Jim MarshallLeicester SouthLabno
Robert Marshall-AndrewsMedwayLabno
John Martin McDonnellHayes and HarlingtonLab (minister)no
Mr Kevin McNamaraKingston upon Hull NorthLabtellno
Mr Brian SedgemoreHackney South and ShoreditchLabno
Dennis SkinnerBolsoverLab (minister)no
Robert WareingLiverpool, West DerbyLabno
Mr Jimmy WrayGlasgow BailliestonLabno

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