Letter to the Portsmouth News

6 February 2016

Today's Portsmouth News printed a letter in from Ian McCulloch, Green Party candidate for Central Southsea, in reply to an article with Penny Mordants thoughts on the Human Rights Act, putting right a few facts:

"I'm sorry to see Penny Mordaunt using her position as Armed Force Minister to further the Conservative Party's aims of repealing the Human Rights Act (HRA) as described in Wednesday's paper ("Soldiers fearful of being sued if they shoot terrorists").  Contrary to your unnamed source, there is nothing in the Act to say that soldiers are "disposable", indeed it quite clearly states that public organisations (including the Government, the Police and local councils) must treat everyone equally, with fairness, dignity and respect.  We all know that there are ambulance-chasing lawyers out there who are a bit short in the scruple department, but it was not the HRA that brought them into existence.  I would agree with Alan Mak when he says that we have a duty to protect our troops when they come home, but it is not the HRA which is the threat here.  It enshrines the right to a fair hearing (Article 6) and the right of newspapers to publish tosh like this (Article 10), as well as protecting us in housing cases, criminal matters and employment law.
The Green Party is working with many other organizations to defend the UK Human Rights Act (hra.greenparty.org.uk) and it is disappointing to see Ms Mordaunt implying that the HRA is a support for terrorists, when in reality it establishes a legal basis for the freedoms that our troops are supposedly fighting for."

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