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Clegg promises liberties restoration

Giving fingerprints back to the people

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Nick Clegg promised government that will restore individual liberties and value dissent this morning, as he set out his Deputy Prime Minster's brief to repeal Labour laws this morning.

Setting out what he called a "big bang approach to political reform", he said illiberal and intrusive laws will be scrapped.

Most of Clegg's plans had already been trailed in the brief coalition agreement published last week: no ID cards, no ContactPoint database, consent required to fingerprint children, stricter CCTV regulations, and tighter restrictions on whose DNA profiles can be retained by police.

On the Interception Modernisation Programme, which would demand ISPs retain details of the customers' communications in case intelligence or law enforcement agencies want to access them, he left more room for manoeuvre, saying: "We won't hold your internet and email records when there is just no reason to do so."

Many of the coalition's reforms are expected to form part of a "Great Repeal Bill" - an idea promoted by maverick Tory backbencher Douglas Carswell - in the Queen's Speech on Tuesday.

Clegg also criticised the sheer number of laws passed by the previous government, saying they had failed to make the streets safer. He pledged to permanently scrap many, introduce safeguards on counter-terrorism powers and "introduce a mechanism to block pointless new criminal offences". ®

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