Anti-terror plans could be counter-productive, warns London Mayor

The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, Monday expressed serious reservations about the government’s new anti-terror plans, particularly extending the exclusion and deportation powers of the Home Secretary.

In response to the Home Office’s consultation document on the new proposals, Livingstone also raised concern about the government’s list of ‘unacceptable behaviors’ and called people to be allowed to express their views on issues as the Middle East conflict.

“People such as the founders of the United States, the founder of Israel, opponents of Ian Smith’s regime in ‘Rhodesia’ (Zimbabwe), Nelson Mandela and the Yasser Arafat have all been branded terrorists by someone at one time or another,” the mayor said.

“But nothing would have been gained by us banning either side in those conflicts. Today it would be totally counter-productive as it would reduce the trust, and therefore the information, from the communities whose help is indispensable to the police,” he warned.

IRNA report, 15 August 2005

See also GLA press release, 15 August 2005