Downing Street has delayed plans to replace the Human Rights Act in favour of a British bill of rights.
The government will instead publish proposals for such a bill. The project to replace the Act will be headed by Michael Gove and proposals will be put on hold until he has conducted a wider consultation.
The Guardian reports: Priti Patel, the employment minister, confirmed that the repeal of the Human Rights Act has been delayed. Patel told the BBC: “When it comes to legal and constitutional affairs, the Human Rights Act, you have to work externally and have the right consultation. That takes time. It is important that we concentrate on doing these things properly and look at the delivery mechanisms we have in government to deliver the legislation.”
The prime minister was facing criticism from some of his backbenchers, many in the judiciary, as well as Labour, the SNP and his former deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, over the Tory manifesto pledge to replace human rights laws with a British bill of rights.
It is being announced as a consultation rather than a draft law, as Cameron may not have the support to get it through the Commons with his wafer-thin majority of 12.
Alex Salmond, the SNP MP and former first minister of Scotland, told the BBC it showed the government was in “headlong retreat” and that it “had not taken long to get blown off course”.