PM frustration over Bill of Rights

David Cameron is determined to press ahead with a British Bill of Rights

David Cameron is determined to press ahead with a British Bill of Rights

First published in National News © by

Prime Minister David Cameron has voiced his frustration at slow progress on his plans to scrap the Human Rights Act and replace it with a new British Bill of Rights.

Mr Cameron made clear that he blames delays on the compromises made necessary by coalition, but he remains determined to press ahead with the change, which has totemic status for some Tories but is bitterly opposed by Liberal Democrats.

One of the four Tory members of the Bill of Rights Commission - academic Michael Pinto-Duschinsky - quit last week, claiming that the commission had been rigged by europhile Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Following his resignation, leaked papers suggested that the commission was in disarray, with one Conservative member Anthony Speaight QC accusing its chairman Sir Leigh Lewis of being "provocative and bullying", and trying to "pick us off one by one".

The apparent lack of consensus led to speculation that plans to replace the Human Rights Act may have to be put off until after the general election scheduled for 2015.

Speaking as he flew to the United States for talks with President Barack Obama, Mr Cameron made clear he had not given up hope of finding a way forward, but recognised that Lib Dem sensitivities meant it would be slower than he would like.

He told reporters: "I want to make progress.

"This is clearly an area that if we weren't in coalition government, we would be going quite a bit faster, in fact, quite a lot faster."

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