42-day vote: read the leaders
Updated on 11 June 2008
Newspapers and columnists are - like MPs - divided over the 42-days vote. Channel 4 News online rounds up the opinion ahead of today's crucial debate.
The Times - leader column
42 Days: No to the Politics of Fear
"The vital democratic principle that a prisoner has the right to know why he is being held is at risk of being diluted for the sake of a prosecutorial process whose need is not proven and which, quite simply, cannot work.
"The 42-day plan attacks precisely the freedoms that Britain stands for. Most MPs supporting it will do so grudgingly at best, to give their beleaguered leader a short-lived tactical victory."
The Guardian - Garry Hindle
Why we need 42 days
"The extension of pre-charge detention will not provide an automatic or arbitrary power, nor run counter to existing ideals and principles of liberty in the UK.
"In fact a fixed, clearly defined, accountable period of detention will be less a threat to civil liberties than existing arrangements.
"We must all look beyond the politics and posturing to make a decision based on proportionality and rigorous judicial oversight."
The Mail - leader column
Terror vote is bigger than Brown alone
"To listen to many MPs, you would think they were being asked to vote today on whether or not Gordon Brown should remain Prime Minister. They are not.
"Indeed, in some ways the question before them is even more important, since it goes right to the heart of our national security and civil liberties: should police chiefs be permitted to lock up terrorist suspects without charge for as long as six weeks?
"One thing is certain: there are no easy answers. For Islamist terrorism has brought unprecedented difficulties."
The Sun - leader column
"This is NOT a vote of confidence in Gordon Brown, nor should it be. It is about providing a vital weapon in the nation's defence.
"The Government has delivered safeguards against unwarranted detention. At any point, judges can overrule them.
"The 42-day proposal is backed by police and security chiefs of the highest reputation and, importantly, by the Muslim community."
The Daily Telegraph - Simon Heffer
Terror detention: Is our liberty or the PM's authority more important?
"Some perspective: 52 people were wickedly slain by suicide bombers on public transport in July 2005. On the first day of the Blitz, September 7, 1940, 430 were killed. By the end of the Blitz, 60,000 civilians were dead, another 90,000 injured, and two million homes damaged.
"I am not belittling the tragedy of July 2005: I am just saying that our response to it might be disproportionate. History also notes the many Germans who fled Hitler because they despised and feared him - Jews among them - were rounded up in 1939, together with some harmless nutters.
"Do we wish to repeat such foolishness?"
The Independent - leader column
Win or lose, the Prime Minister has surrendered to the politics of terror
"We believed then, and we believe now, that any extension of the period of detention without charge is quite wrong, both in principle and in practice. It is wrong in principle for simple reasons of common justice.
"Anyone who is arrested is entitled to know why, and what evidence there is against them. That is an elementary right and one of the most fundamental characteristics of a civilised country."