Tory Vice Chair Mike Freer: Labour is scaremongering to argue UK should stay in ECHR

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Conservative Party Vice Chair Mike Freer has said it is “typical scaremongering” for the Labour Party to argue that Britain must stay in the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Conservatives have said that Britain may leave the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), unless it is allowed to flout rulings on human rights issues.

Both Labour leader Ed Miliband and Shadow Equalities Minister Gloria De Piero have slammed the announcement by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling earlier today.

Mike Freer, MP for Finchley and Golders Green told PinkNews: “This is typical scaremongering. The proposal is to have a British Bill of Rights, so Parliament and the UK Supreme Court has the final say. There is no reason to think it would lessen LGBT rights. I don’t recall Same Sex Marriage or Civil Partnerships being introduced because of a ruling from the ECHR. These were policy decisions by the UK parliament led by the UK Prime Minister.”

Labour leader Ed Miliband said earlier today that he thinks Tory plans to abandon the ECHR would be a “disaster” for Britons, as it has “protected the rights of victims of crime”, including gay people.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling announced today that the ultimatum will be delivered to European judges, and that the courts will need to come to terms with working in an advisory capacity with Britain.

Prime Minister David Cameron also announced the proposal in his keynote address to the Tory Party Conference in Birmingham earlier this week, saying: “As for Labour’s Human Rights Act, we will scrap it once and for all.”

In its place, a Bill of Rights would be brought in, including the principles of the convention, which initially was drawn up following World War II.

The difference under the new proposals is that the new legislation would specify the British Supreme Court as the “ultimate arbiter” on human rights issues.