Starmer ‘straying into politics’

By staff

The director of public prosecutions strayed into politics when he defended the Human Rights Act, the Conservatives have claimed.

Keir Starmer used a lecture to counter Tory arguments the Act should be abolished and replaced with a British bill of rights.

“It would be to this country’s shame if we lost the clear and basic statement of our citizens’ human rights provided by the Human Rights Act on the basis of a fundamentally flawed analysis of their origin and relevance to our society,” he told the audience at the annual Public Prosecution Service lecture.

“I am proud to be part of a society that regards these rights as part of my entitlement as a member of that society,” he said.

“They are basic; they are fundamental; and I venture to suggest that, for the majority of us, they are so much a part of our way of life that we take them for granted.”

“The idea that these human rights should somehow stop in the English Channel is odd and, frankly, impossible to defend.”

Shadow justice secretary Dominic Grieve objected to the lecture and insisted the “Human Rights Act is not the only way to implement human rights in Britain”.

But Downing Street jumped to defend Mr Starmer, arguing he was entitled to express his views on legal matters.

“He expressed his view on the Human Rights Act and I think that’s fine,” the prime minister’s spokesman said.