Clegg savages Labour’s human rights record

Britain’s authority on human rights is being destroyed by its abuse of those rights at home, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has said.

In a speech, given this evening to Amnesty International to mark human rights day, Mr Clegg will accuse the government of creating a two-tier human rights regime where foreign nationals are targeted with “draconian schemes”

Mr Clegg said: “All of us have had our rights come under attack, but no one has suffered more so than foreigners in this country. Britain is fast developing a two-tier rights regime.”

Mr Clegg accused Labour of shifting to the right and Phil Woolas, immigration minister, of peddling fear and using asylum seekers as scapegoats for Britain’s problems. This has ignited tensions along racial fault lines which are likely to escalate as the recession deepens, the Lib Dem leader will argue.

He will continue: “What does this government think is going to happen to the already delicate ethnic tensions as we spiral further into economic downturn? When more jobs go, and frustrations are at a high? Why are they stoking this fire?”

Mr Clegg will say Labour and Conservatives have entered a bidding war for which party will allow the fewest people into the country.

“What makes it even worse is that this is an area where the Conservatives simply won’t be outflanked. My concern is that this marks the start of a kind of downward bidding.”

Mr Clegg also asked for mature debate not only focusing on the ills of illegal immigration but also the positive contributions which emerge from the influx of legal migrants.