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42 Days Pre-Charge Detention "Matter Of Necessity"

42 Days "A Matter Of Necessity"

The Government has won the Parliamentary vote on the extension of pre-charge detention to 42 days by 315 votes to 306.

In PMQs earlier today the PM said the extension was "a matter of necessity" in light of the increasing sophistication of terrorist threats. The Government was acting on the advice of key experts, including the head of the Association of Chief Police Officers, in order to ensure "the protection of national security", he said.

Ahead of tonight's vote on the Counter-Terrorism Bill, the Prime Minister said the protection of civil liberties in the paper was "greater than in any other terrorist legislation". Individuals will be detained beyond 28 days only when Parliament agrees there is an "exceptional and grave" terrorist threat, he said.

Mr Brown cited recent terror-related cases where suspects have been questioned for 27 days and the police have had to deal with masses of evidence, including one case that involved 400 computers and around 25,000 exhibits. It was better to put adequate systems in place for dealing with complex cases "in a moment of calm" than to bring sudden requests for emergency powers to Parliament in the future, he said.

In an article for The Times last week, the PM said that any extension of the pre-charge limit would be implemented so that it "maximises the protection of individuals against arbitrary treatment".

ENDS

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