Government edges 42 day terror vote
Updated on 11 June 2008
In a critical moment for Gordon Brown's leadership, nine votes ensure a knife-edge victory on the government's proposed 42-day limit for holding terror suspects.
A defining moment for Gordon Brown, a critical moment for his leadership. He managed to win the knife-edge vote on detaining terror suspects for 42 days, but by the narrowest of margins.
The government scraped home by 315 votes to 306, a wafer-thin majority of nine, effectively thanks to the support of the Democratic Unionists but also the vote of Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe and former Conservative - now UKIP - MP Bob Spink.
37 Labour rebels defied their whips, joining the Tories and Liberal Democrats in the "no" lobby.
Just a few hours earlier, Number 10 was warning of potential defeat. Gordon Brown spent hours calling waverers to persuade them to change their minds.
But how is the attempt to hold terror suspects for up to 42 days without charge supposed to work in practice?
The Tories say the government has had to make so many concessions that it has rendered the bill unworkable. And human rights lawyers have said plans to compensate suspects who are not charged would make "legal nonsense".
Meanwhile, the government has confirmed that the Metropolitan police are launching an investigation after secret Whitehall documents relating to al-Qaida and Iraq were left on a train in London.