Blair announces new deportation measures for extremists

Prime Minister Tony Blair has announced new measures to deport religious extremists who incite hatred.

He said the Government was launching a short one-month consultation on new grounds for excluding and deporting people from the United Kingdom.

They would include fostering hatred, advocating violence to further a person's beliefs or justifying or validating such violence.

"Let no one be in any doubt that the rules of the games are changing," Mr Blair said.

The Prime Minister said a "handpicked" unit of senior officials, headed by the Government's Intelligence and Security Coordinator Bill Jeffrey would be appointed to drive forward the agenda along with the Cabinet's counter-terrorism committee which Mr Blair chairs.

He acknowledged that while the British public had responded with tolerance to the terror attacks on London, that tolerance was in danger of being stretched, reports This Is London.

The government would hold a one-month consultation on new grounds for excluding and deporting people from the United Kingdom, he said.

Britain's ability to deport foreign nationals has been hampered by human rights legislation. As a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, Britain is not allowed to deport people to a country where they may face torture or death.

The British government has been seeking assurances from several countries - including Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt - for suspects to be protected against inhumane treatment if deported. The government has already reached an agreement with Jordan.

Britain was seeking assurances from about 10 countries, and Blair said he had constructive talks with leaders of Algeria and Lebanon on Thursday. The government was prepared to amend human rights legislation if legal challenges arose from the new deportation measures, he said.

Blair said anyone linked with terrorism could be refused asylum, and the new measures make it easier for the government to strip extremists of dual citizenship.

The government also was considering a request from police and security services to hold terror suspects for three months without charge. The current time limit is 14 days informs The Macon Telegraph.

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