Feeds

Government defeats Tories in 'McKinnon' extradition vote

Labour political hacks fail to back hacker

The essential guide to IT transformation

An opposition motion calling for a review of the extradition treaty between the US and UK failed in Parliament on Wednesday after Labour supporters of US extradition target Gary McKinnon fell behind the party whip.

A total of 82 Labour MPs have supported McKinnon's campaign against extradition in three Commons motions tabled since 2005. But only eight defied the whips and backed a Tory motion calling for an "immediate review" of the extradition treaty. The treaty is widely criticised as one-sided because the US can request extradition from the UK without providing evidence while evidence is required in the opposite case.

Another 15 abstained, while 59 Labour MPS who previously supported McKinnon voted with the government.

As a result the motion was defeated by 290 votes to 236. The plight of McKinnon, diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome last year, and staring down the barrel of US trial followed by a lengthy spell in Federal prison, was central to the debate.

The Daily Mail, which has latterly started an an energetic campaign on McKinnon's behalf, is characteristically indignant at what it describes as the hypocrisy of "spineless" Labour MPs who deserted McKinnon's cause. It fails to note that Tory supporters of McKinnon would have likely opposed the same motion had it hypothetically been tabled by the government, and that many Conservative supporters of the motion were not necessarily backers of the UFO truthseeker turned military hacker.

This was not anything like a free vote.

Labour MPs who did cross the floor to support the Conservative motion included Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, and Kate Hoey, a former minister. The other six Labour supporters were Jeremy Corbyn, Jim Devine, Lynne Jones, John McDonnell, Mohammad Sarwar and Alan Simpson.

During the debate, recently-appointed Home Secretary Alan Johnson claimed that he was only to intervene in extradition cases in a very limited set of circumstances, such as where an extradition target faces a possible death penalty sentence. He also rejected criticism that extradition procedures between the US and UK were "somehow unbalanced", the Daily Mail adds. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email
Court wanted peek as related to US investigation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.