Unionist split over 42 days’ detention

That allegation of a “dirty deal” with the DUP to win the Commons vote on the government’s proposal for a 42 days detention limit for certain suspects, just won’t go away, however much it’s denied. It features again in the skirmishing before tonight’s vote in the Lords, with the Ulster Unionist Ken Maginnis claiming Labour peers ( presumably rebels!) were “spitting nails” over “the dirty Deal.” Two other UU peers, the regular attenders Lords Rogan and Laird will join Ld Maginnis in the Conservative lobby – on the other side of the issue from Sylvia Hermon in the Commons who supported the Government. Poor old UUs, ever shrinking but still splitting..

The Lords are less biddable than MPs and are expected to reject the 42 days in the next move in a long game of parliamentary ping pong between Lords and Commons. The DUP’s Lord Browne of Belmont said in advance of the debate:

“I would fundamentally refute the assertion by Ken Maginnis that 42 days
detention could be used as a substitute for better intelligence gathering.
The entire purpose of the proposal to allow detention for up to 42 days
is to ensure that sufficient intelligence can be gathered to safeguard the
public and prosecute those engaged in terrorism”.

A flattering piece from Amnesty’s Peter Corrigan in the Our Kingdom website and first noted by Chris Donnelly, urges the 15 non-DUP NI peers to”restore Northern Ireland’s Westminster reputation”by voting against the government”!

Whatever can he mean?

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

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