Keir Starmer beneath stress to scrap Suella Braverman’s botched asylum legal guidelines

Keir Starmer is under pressure to tear up Suella Braverman and Priti Patel’s botched asylum clampdowns.

The heads of three of the UK’s biggest human rights groups have said the new Prime Minister must repeal Tory legislation criminalising asylum seekers and cracking down on protesters. A letter signed by the UK chiefs at Amnesty International, Freedom from Torture and Human Rights Watch demands the PM “reverse the damage done” under the Tories.

They warned that the UK’s global reputation has “taken quite a battering” in recent years. They wrote that the previous Government was guilty of “hypocrisy, double standards and prolific rule breaking”, adding: “There is an urgent need for the UK to clean up its act.” They continued: “In recent years a raft of laws and policies have been introduced that flout the UK’s international obligations, including by restricting fundamental freedoms, criminalising the right to protest, denying justice to survivors of torture and other serious international crimes, forcing more children into poverty, and effectively banning the right to seek asylum.”

They urged the new Labour Government to repeal a raft of draconian legislation forced through by the Tories, including the Illegal Migration Act, the Nationalities and Borders Act and the Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Act. The Illegal Migration Act has left tens of thousands of asylum seekers in limbo as it denies them the right to apply to remain in the UK.

The latter act placed restrictions on “unacceptable” protests. Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s Chief Executive, said: “It’s been a grim chapter for the UK which saw human rights simply legislated away so that the Government could pursue its pernicious policies. The new Government has the opportunity to hit the reset button on human rights, both domestically and in terms of our global reputation, which has taken quite a battering.”

Sonya Sceats, chief executive at Freedom from Torture, said: “This is a critical opportunity for the new Government to abandon the era of “one rule for us, and another for them”.

The letter accuses the previous Government of a “double standard” in its response to conflict in Gaza and Ukraine. And it says that UK nationals shouldn’t be given any sort of immunity if they’re accused of atrocity crimes anywhere in the world. The Mirror has contacted the Home Office for comment.