Former Tory Cabinet Minister Ian Duncan Smith made an extraordinary admission to the BBC on Sunday, admitting that Theresa May left the UK “wide-open” to potential terror attacks.
Speaking on Radio 4’s The World This Weekend show, IDS admitted that the blame for recent terrorist attacks lies firmly on the shoulders of Prime Minister Theresa May.
‘TPIM’ refers to the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011 – legislation brought in by the coalition government to replace Labour’s ‘control orders’.
Control orders allowed a Home Secretary to order a restriction of the liberty of a terror suspect in order to “protect members of the public from a risk of terrorism”.
And IDS’s remarkable admission was this: he and Theresa May both knew that the new legislation had ‘watered down’ the old ‘control order’ too much:
One of the things I know I was concerned about in coalition, and I know Theresa May was when she was Home Secretary was,.. the TPIM order that gives those powers was watered down and I think it was weakened too much.
This incredible comment passed without further examination by the interviewer. But it is a flat-out admission that May knew the anti-terror laws she had brought in were not fit for purpose.
Now, if you wished to be extremely generous to May, you might argue that she couldn’t strengthen the laws in coalition because the LibDems might not accept it. Unlikely, but possible.
But May was Home Secretary for fourteen months in a majority Conservative government and then Prime Minister for a further 11 months – and did nothing to correct what she knew to be inadequate control of terror suspects.
This is on top of police cuts that she was warned put our population at risk – by police, security experts and Jeremy Corbyn, who yesterday gave a Prime Ministerial speech about security that has been ignored by the BBC and most of the mainstream media.
There simply is no excuse – and only one place for the electorate to put the responsibility – not for the loss of life directly, nobody but the terrorists bears that – but for weakening both law and the police and security services that increased our vulnerability to such attacks.