Labour 'addicted to legislating'

The Lib Dems have accused the Labour of being addicted to legislating
The Lib Dems have accused the Labour of being addicted to legislating

Thousands of new laws, criminal offences and enough legislation to fill 205 large novels show that the government is afflicted with "legislative madness", the Liberal Democrats have said.

Calculations by the party reveal that under the current government more than 3,000 new crimes have been created in 365 Acts running to 114,000 pages of legislation. And the combined weight of all this paper is more than that of two John Prescotts, the Lib Dems point out.

"This government is addicted to legislating," the party's leader Menzies Campbell said.

"It feeds its appetite for headlines with proposals and bills that are often confusing and repetitious.

"Since 1997 there have been five immigration acts, seven terrorism acts, ten education acts, 11 health and social care acts, and a total of 23 criminal justice acts."

In response the Lib Dems propose a "Freedom Bill" aimed at restoring traditional British civil liberties and stopping the government from using legislation instead of governing.

"In its rush to respond to tabloid headlines Labour has undermined civil liberties, stifled business with red tape and created crises in our public services," Mr Campbell said at the launch of the bill.

Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg added: "We need a single act to roll back a generation of illiberal legislation and illiberal regulations; a single act to dismantle the apparatus of authoritarianism that has been forced on the nation."

Top ten laws the Lib Dems would scrap:

1. Restrictions on protests in Parliament Square
Sections 132 to 138; Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005

2. Identity Cards
Identity Cards Act 2006

3. Extradition to the US
Part 2, Extradition Act 2003

4. Conditions on public assemblies
Section 57, Clause 123, Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003

5. Criminalising trespass
Sections 128 to 131, Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005

6. Control orders
Section 1, Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005

7. DNA retention
Sections 78-84, Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001
Sections 9-10, Criminal Justice Act 2003

8. Public interest defence for whistleblowing
Official Secrets Act 1989

9. Right to silence
Sections 34-39, Public Order Act 1994 - England and Wales

10. Hearsay evidence
Sections 114-136, Criminal Justice Act 2003


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