London: Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg
on Friday promised to restore civil liberties undermined by the
previous Labour administration in the name of fighting crime
"The Coalition Government is going to turn a page on
the Labour years resurrecting the liberties that have been
lost embarking on a mission to restore our great British
freedoms," he said in a speech on civil liberties here today.
Clegg acknowledged that the "threat we face from
terrorists is very very real but the Labour government got the
balance between liberty and security wrong."
"This nation is built on a faith in fair play.
Innocent until proven guilty. Equal before the law. Each
individual able to think and speak without fear or
persecution," he said.
"Yet recent times have seen those traditions badly
damaged. Under Labour our civil liberties have been
undermined, eroded, lost," he underlined.
Labour turned Britain into a place where black or
Asian were seven times more likely to be stopped and searched
by the police.
He said the coalition government is going to restore
the right balance of liberty and security in the measures
taken to tackle terrorism - recognising we can and must have
He vowed to revers the widespread, everyday assaults
on liberty that swept across Britain during the Labour years.
He said it would include ending the practices of
closed and secretive government, giving people the information
and freedom they need to hold us and other institutions to
The deputy premier`s Liberal Democrats, Britain`s
third party, have long been known as champions of civil
liberties and equality.
However, the party`s popularity has plummet in opinion
polls since becoming part of a coalition government with the
Conservatives in May 2009.
The Labour-Lib Dem alliance has already ended a plan
for national identity cards and vowed to cull the police DNA
database, one of the world`s largest.