Vernon's position on the Human Rights Act

I believe that upholding and promoting justice, equality and human rights should be absolutely central to Britain's domestic and foreign policy.

That is why I am proud that the previous Labour Government introduced the Human Rights Act, which protects basic rights such as the right to a fair trial, the right to life and the right to privacy. The Human Rights Act remains a crucial check against unaccountable state power and vested interests and I fear that the Government's plans to abolish it would severely weaken the rights of British citizens.

I fought the General Election on a manifesto that included a commitment to uphold and reform the Human Rights Act and that recognised the Human Rights Act has helped give some of our most vulnerable citizens, including disabled people and victims of crime, a powerful means of redress.

I therefore share your deep concern about the Government's intentions in this area and I also recognise that replacing the Human Rights Act with a new Bill of Rights could cause real legal and practical problems across the UK.

It will be vital, therefore, to closely scrutinise any proposals the Government bring forward on this issue and I can assure you that I will bear in mind the points you raise.