UK must protect human rights, says Nicola Sturgeon

THE UK Government should be safeguarding human rights rather than trying to “turn back the clock” and weaken them, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon and Director of Liberty Shami Chakrabart met at the Scottish Parliament. Picture: PA

The First Minister has already strongly criticised the Tories at Westminster for plans to replace the Human Rights Act.

The Conservatives have already had to put their general election pledge to replace this with a British bill of rights on hold for at least a year.

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Ms Sturgeon, who has already said she will urge Holyrood to withhold consent for the abolition of the act in Scotland, today argued such rights were universal and were “not the preserve of any nation or any legal system”.

She made the comments after having talks with Shami Chakrabarti, director of the campaign group Liberty.

The SNP leader said: “Scotland and the United Kingdom have a strong record on human rights - we should be safeguarding those rights while promoting our standards as a good practice model around the world.

“We’d prefer to be working with the UK Government to make the world a better place rather than having to fight attempts to turn back the clock and weaken those rights.”

Ms Sturgeon added: “Today’s meeting with Shami emphasised the fact that human rights are universal.

“They are not the preserve of any nation or any legal system - they are for all of humanity.

“We share the view that current ill-considered attacks on the Human Rights Act threaten the rights of everyone across these islands and we will be working together to protect the Act into the future.”

Ms Chakrabarti said it had been an “enormous privilege” to meet the First Minister at Holyrood and “hear her pledge to defend the rights and freedoms of everyone in the United Kingdom and beyond”.

The campaigner added: “I look forward to watching her continued contribution as well as that of her Westminster colleagues to promoting human rights in these difficult times.”