Since 2005, more than 80 Labour MPs have signed Commons motions expressing unease over these extradition arrangements. A large number have also declared their support for Mr McKinnon in media interviews or letters to constituents.
Yet when it came to the crunch on Wednesday during a specific vote on the case, only ten of my fellow Labour MPs lived up to their rhetoric and backed a motion opposing his extradition. Fifty-nine of them did the Labour whips' bidding, voting with the Government, and 15 abstained.I am surprised and disappointed by the refusal of so many of my colleagues to live up to their past promises. Here was a chance to force the Government to rethink its policy on an individual case of justice, yet they squandered the opportunity.
The rebellion against the Government was far smaller than I expected, even though its case was very weak and Home Secretary Alan Johnson was unable to articulate any truly convincing arguments for extraditing McKinnon.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Labour MPs Say One Thing & Do Another
I'm a bit late with this, but last Friday Andrew MacKinlay wrote a superb article in the Daily Mail on the case of Gary McKinnon, the aspergers sufferer who is being extradited to the US to face charges of hacking into the Pentagon computer. MacKinlay's piece isn't just an analysis of the merits or not of the case against McKinnon, it is a bitter attack on what he terms his "craven colleagues".