UK safety before human rights treaty, says Cameron

David Cameron yesterday made clear that he is ready to pull the UK out of the European Convention on Human Rights if he believes it is necessary to keep Britain safe.
David Cameron at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. Picture: GettyDavid Cameron at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. Picture: Getty
David Cameron at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. Picture: Getty

Mr Cameron said he would do “whatever it takes” to ensure Britain can throw out people who pose a threat to the country and have no right to be here.

He said voters could be confident a Conservative government after the 2015 general election would make sure this was done, though he indicated it would not be possible if he was ruling again in coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

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Mr Cameron said: “What we need to do is think, what is the outcome we want?

“I’m less interested in which convention we are signed up to. As Prime Minister, I want to know can I keep our country safe. So, for instance, are we able to chuck out of our country people who have no right to be here, who threaten our country? I say we should be able to do that.

“Whatever that takes, we must deliver that outcome.

“We have the next 20 months to put into our manifesto whatever measures need to be taken to produce the effect we want, which is basically to have greater ability to keep our people safe.”

Mr Cameron said there were several options for ensuring future prime ministers had greater powers to remove people who posed a threat to public safety.

This could involve the creation of a British Bill of Rights, which would allow the UK to remain within the convention while being sure that judges at the European Court of Human Rights respected Britain’s decisions, he said.

But asked if it could mean withdrawing from the convention, he replied: “It may be that that is where we end up, but let’s go through the process and work out what is necessary to deliver the effect that we want.”

He added: “Under a Conservative-only government led by me, there will be the ability to throw out of our country much more rapidly people who threaten us and our way of life.”

Asked whether a Conservative-only administration would be needed to deliver these changes, because Liberal Democrats would prevent him in a coalition, Mr Cameron replied: “Yes.”

95% mortgage scheme set for an early launch

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A housing scheme allowing buyers in England to take out 95 per cent mortgages will be launched next week, three months earlier than planned.

David Cameron said the controversial Help to Buy scheme for England would allow first time buyers to get on the housing ladder, adding that without it only “people with rich parents” would be able to raise a deposit.

The Prime Pinister also rejected fears that the measures would fuel a housing bubble. Soaring prices in the south of England have been linked to a version of Help to Buy that has been running since April.

The announcement, follows the confirmation on Friday that the Scottish Government would roll out its own £220 million programme over three years which will give eligible buyers an equity loan of up to 20 per cent of the purchase price of a new-build home.

He told BBC’s Andrew Marr programme the market was “recovering from a very low base” and first-time buyers needed help.

“As prime minister I am not going to stand by while people’s aspirations to get on the housing ladder are being trashed,” he said.

It is expected that helping more buyers to secure a deposit for new properties north of the Border will lead to a boom in construction, and create new jobs in the sector.