BRITAIN could pull out of the European Convention on Human Rights if the Conservatives win the next general election, a Cabinet minister said.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said he was “absolutely certain” the Tories would go into the election in 2015 with a plan to change the existing legislation based on Labour’s Human Rights Act.
He refused to rule out the prospect that a majority Conservative government could withdraw altogether from the 60-year-old European convention – which the act enshrined into British law.
His comments are likely to be welcomed by many Tory MPs, frustrated at rulings by the European Court of Human Rights blocking the deportation of radical cleric Abu Qatada and giving prisoners the right to vote.
But there was dismay among their Liberal Democrat coalition partners, who accused the Tories of a move to the right after being beaten into third place by Ukip in the Eastleigh by-election.
Mr Grayling said recent rulings of the court had moved a long way from the original aims of the convention, which was drawn up in the aftermath of the Second World War.
“I’ve not ruled anything in, I’ve not ruled anything out,” he said.