Civil liberties in the spotlight

By staff

Theresa May will explain the government’s civil liberties agenda to Tory members today when she addresses the party conference in Birmingham.

The new home secretary has struck a decisively liberal tone since she took on the job in May.

Civil liberties advocates were initially uncertain of what to make of her, with little in her record to suggest strong views on liberty issues.

But she has since proved a formidable defender of civil liberties, sparking a review of Labour’s anti-terror laws and taking action against asbos and ID cards.

The government’s resolve on civil liberties – a consequence of the two coalition parties mutual agreement on the issue – has prompted a re-think by Ed Miliband, the new Labour leader, who announced the opposition would take a more liberal approach to the issue.