We’re still scrapping the Human Rights Act, says Liz Truss

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By Alex Aldridge on

Brexit fails to win reprieve for HRA


The new Lord Chancellor will press ahead with plans to ditch the Human Rights Act (HRA), dashing hopes that the controversial piece of legislation could win a last gasp reprieve.

In the wake of the nation’s vote in June to leave the European Union, there had been speculation that the Tory manifesto pledge to replace the HRA with a UK Bill of Rights could end up falling by the wayside.

But responding to a question about the pledge this morning on Radio 4’s Today Programme, Liz Truss said:

We are committed to that. It is a manifesto pledge. We are looking very closely at the details but we have a manifesto pledge to deliver that.

Truss’ comments are significant in that they scotch a rumour reported by The Times earlier this month that new Prime Minster Theresa May told Truss to re-look at plans by her predecessor, Michael Gove, for a Bill or Rights.

The gist of the gossip seemed that be that amid all the other important legal things that would need doing more urgently to exit Britain from the EU, the HRA would have to wait. However, others have since suggested that May felt that Gove’s plan didn’t go far enough, with a concession that Britain would remain signed up to the European Court of Human Rights apparently particularly bugging her.

Truss, who is an accountant rather than a lawyer, became Lord Chancellor last month. Constitutional law obsessives can listen to her precise words regarding the HRA here (from 2:18).