Our letter in today’s Daily Mail – with more signatures added!

Here is the letter which is printed in today’s Daily Mail. It was originally sent to the Times, but they refused us. The Daily Mail has run a long-standing campaign against the Justice and Security Bill. We may not like much of what they say, but on this issue the Mail is absolutely right.

I’ve added in the signatures we received after the noon deadline. There are now 130 Liberal Democrat members, peers, MEPs, Councillors, local party chairs and officers and campaigners who are calling for all MPs to do the right thing when the Justice and Security Bill is debated this afternoon.

Letter to the Daily Mail 4th March 2013

Dear Sir,

We are writing to urge all MPs to do the right thing by voting against Part II of the Justice and Security Bill when it has its Report stage in the Commons today.

The Justice and Security Bill runs a coach and horses through fair trial guarantees which have been part of our country’s constitution since the Civil War and which were first enshrined in the Magna Carta. The secret court measures contained in the Bill could even apply to habeas corpus proceedings.

The stakes for our country could not be higher. The “War on Terror” led to many mistakes: liberty was sacrificed in the name of security. This led directly to British agents facilitating kidnap and torture such as the cases of Binyam Mohammed and Abdul-Hakim Belhaj. For those who are victims of such crimes to be shut out of the trials of their own claims for damages runs totally contrary to any notion of justice.

As the Special Advocates reiterated last week, the case for this Bill has not been made. The Joint Committee on Human Rights reported on 28th February 2013 that the government has failed to meet its requirements to make “Closed Material Procedures” less unfair.

We call on all MPs now to act before it is too late, and they become complicit in irrevocable damage to our constitution.

This issue goes beyond party politics. However, as Liberal Democrats the protection of civil liberties is of crucial importance. We are looking to Nick Clegg to lead the Liberal Democrat MPs in opposition to the Bill. Opposition to Part II is what liberal democracy demands of us. Secret courts must not form any part of the legacy of a government in which Liberal Democrats have a role.

Yours faithfully,


  1. Jo Shaw, Member of Liberal Democrat Federal Executive, London
  2. Martin Tod, Member of Liberal Democrat Federal Executive, Winchester
  3. Sarah Ludford MEP
  4. David Howarth, Cambridge
  5. Lord Strasburger
  6. Professor Philippe Sands QC, Camden
  7. Sandra Gidley, Romsey
  8. Robin Meltzer, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, Richmond
  9. Elaine Bagshaw, Federal Executive member, London
  10. Daisy Cooper, Federal Executive member
  11. Mark Pack, Federal Policy Committee member
  12. Gareth Epps, Federal Policy Committee, Social Liberal Forum co-chair
  13. Benjamin Mathis, Hackney
  14. Sally Hooker, Greenwich
  15. Tracy Connell, Newcastle, Regional Officer
  16. Christina Shaw, Leeds NW
  17. David Shaw, Leeds NW
  18. Matt Whayman, Runnymede and Weybridge
  19. Chris Richards, Camden
  20. John L Oakes, London N6
  21. Paula Keaveney, Liverpool, Police and Crime Commissioner candidate, Merseyside
  22. Alix Mortimer, Haringey
  23. Tom Polak – Campaigns Secretary Nottingham Liberal Youth
  24. Rob Knight, Haringey
  25. Caron Lindsay, Member of Liberal Democrat Federal Executive, Livingston
  26. Charlotte Henry, Liberal Reform, Barnet
  27. Gemma Roulston, membership secretary, LDDA
  28. Lady Ellen Dahrendorf, London NW3
  29. Ruth Edmonds, Oxford
  30. Nick Thornsby, Liberal Reform, Rochdale
  31. Geoff Hinchliffe, Shipdham
  32. Peter Lloyd, Birmingham
  33. Councillor Jonathan Bloch
  34. Mark Platt, Westminster & City of London party
  35. Tom Barney
  36. Roger Crouch, Twickenham
  37. Jennifer Liddle, Cambridgeshire
  38. Kirsten de Keyser, Camden
  39. Andrew Brown, Bristol
  40. Simon McGrath, Chair, Merton Liberal Democrats, Liberal Reform
  41. Scott Walker, Nottingham
  42. John Faulkner, Guildford
  43. Kat Dadswell, Liverpool
  44. Cllr James Baker, Calderdale Liberal Democrats.
  45. Emily Fieran-Reed, Islington
  46. Cllr Alaric Rose, Cherwell District Council
  47. David Wright, Harlow
  48. Nick Barlow, Colchester
  49. Tony Miller, President, Ealing Liberal Democrats
  50. Phil Stevens Chair Liberal Democrat Disability Association
  51. Mrs Janet King, Chair, Bromsgrove Liberal Democrats
  52. Corry Cashman, Leighton Buzzard
  53. Prof. Denis Mollison, Musselburgh
  54. Cllr Richard Cheney, Lib Dem Group Leader, Stratford DC
  55. Robert Leslie, Treasurer, Banffshire & Buchan Coast Liberal Democrats
  56. Hannah Bettsworth, Edinburgh South
  57. Simon P. Hughes, Epping Forest, Social Liberal Forum
  58. Richard Broadbent, Sutton
  59. Jonathan Price, London SE24
  60. Chris Smart, Chester
  61. Fionn O’Donovan, Oxford
  62. Richard Lowe
  63. Prateek Buch
  64. Charles Scanlan, London NW8
  65. Chris Nelson, Kettering & Wellingborough
  66. Rev Simon Wilson, Broadland
  67. Peter Brooks
  68. Neville Farmer
  69. Cllr Janet Battye, Liberal Democrat  Leader, Calderdale MBC
  70. Anthony Fairclough, London Region Exec & Merton Borough
  71. Jonathan Calder
  72. David Abrahams, Camden
  73. Richard Morris, Richmond and Twickenham
  74. Alex Marsh, Bristol
  75. Geoff Payne, Hertfordshire
  76. Peter Reisdorf, West Kirby
  77. Bridget Fox, Islington
  78. Paul Wild, Walsall
  79. Lisa Smart, Hazel Grove
  80. Ros Gordon, Hampshire
  81. Patrick Hadfield, Edinburgh
  82. Lancelot Casely-Hayford, Liberal Youth Campaigns Officer
  83. Reece Edmends – Liberal Youth Non-Portfolio Officer
  84. Timothy Oliver, Hull
  85. Ellis R Palmer, Secretary of the Univeristy of Birmingham Liberal Democrats
  86. Robert Pitt, Secretary, Leeds Liberal Youth
  87. Kavya Kaushik, Liberal Youth co-Chair
  88. Joe Donnelly, Chair of Durham University Liberal Democrats
  89. Kevin McNamara, President of University of Kent Liberal Democrats
  90. Sam Fisk, Liberal Youth co-Chair
  91. Jezz Palmer, Youth and Student Rep, Winchester
  92. Conor McKenzie, Harrogate, Liberal Youth International Officer
  93. Ashley Wilkes – President of Lancaster University Liberal Democrats
  94. Jonathan Lancaster, York Outer
  95. Alexander J. Harding Last, Ipswich
  96. Will Fielding, Hull and Hessle Liberal Youth Officer
  97. Harry Matthews, Sheffield
  98. Alex Barry, Norwich
  99. Stuart Wheatcroft, Chair, West Midlands Liberal Youth
  100. James Higgin, Aberdeen
  101. Emma Sandrey, Cardiff Central
  102. Samuel Barratt
  103. Cllr Mathew Hulbert, Barwell, Leicestershire
  104. Dr Maria Pretzler, Swansea & Gower
  105. Katrin McClure, East Yorks
  106. Cllr Keith Moffitt, Leader, Liberal Democrats, Camden
  107. Conor McGovern-Paul, Kingston-upon-Thames
  108. Marek Lipinski, Ealing
  109. Jacquie Bell, Dunbar, Scotland
  110. Brian James Woodcraft,Eltham, London
  111. Jean Evans, Chester
  112. Jason Lower, Tonbridge and Malling
  113. Cllr Terry Stacy, Leader, Islington Liberal Democrats
  114. Adam Bernard, Cambridge
  115. Chris Caswill, Wiltshire
  116. Ed Fordham, Camden
  117. Mike Falchikov, Edinburgh South Lib Dems Exec
  118. Councillor Henry Vann
  119. Dr Clive R Sneddon, St Andrews
  120. Sue Baring, Westminster
  121. Greg Judge, Coventry
  122. Gareth Jones, Maidenhead
  123. Nigel Quinton, Welwyn Hatfield LibDems
  124. Alisdair Calder McGregor, Nottingham
  125. George Potter, Secretary of Guildford Liberal Democrats
  126. Cllr Lyn Barton, Colchester
  127. Maureen de Beer, Harrow
  128. Linda Chung, Lib Dem councillor, Hampstead ward
  129. Tom Simon, Lib Dem councillor Belsize ward
  130. Govert Klaasen, Camden
  131. Angharad Bethan Jones
  132. Lee Dargue
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