The Attorney General has warned that Britain would become a pariah state comparable to Belarus and he would block any move by the Conservatives to leave the European Convention on Human Rights.
Dominic Grieve had intervened after Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, refused to rule out leaving the convention following a radical review of Britain's human rights laws.
Mr Grayling told the Daily Telegraph yesterday that the current human rights framework under which Britain was operating had gone badly wrong and said he did not rule on whether Britain would be in or out with regards to leaving the ECHR.
However, Mr Grieve rejected withdrawal. He said the policy was about a continued review of how the Human Rights Act and the ECHR function. There was no government policy on withdrawing from the Convention on Human Rights.
Mr Grieve pointed out that if the UK left the ECHR it would become a “pariah state,” adding that the only European country not bound by the ECHR was Belarus, which had a poor human rights record.
He raised concern that UK would be left along with a group of countries that would make very odd bedfellows. He warned that such a move would jeopardise UK’s international standing.
He added that Britain’s emphasis on the rule of law meant that it was perceived around the world as the “pinnacle” in these issues and cautioned against abandoning this position.
Mr Grayling became Justice Secretary at the last reshuffle, raising eyebrows among the legal community, which expected someone with a legal background to be given the job.
Mr Grayling was also the Lord Chancellor, and is the first non-lawyer to hold the title in modern times.
In a speech to conference on Tuesday, Mr Grayling said he was giving home-owners further rights in defending their homes.
He said that householders acting instinctively and honestly in self defence were victims not criminals. They should be treated that way. That’s why the issue was going to be dealt once for all said Mr Grayling.
Meanwhile as he was returning to his hotel on Monday evening, Mr Greive was confronted by four youths who demanded to know what he was doing in Birmingham.
Mr Grieve announced that he was the Attorney General of England and Wales! After which the four youths fled.