THE Tories cannot be trusted to upload rights and democracy, the SNP have warned, after the launch of a UK Government consultation into the Human Rights Act.

Anne McLaughlin has said Justice Secretary Dominic Raab, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, “must not go near” the act and that the Tory party have already shown they cannot be trusted by the British public.

The Human Rights Act was introduced more than 20 years ago and set in law minimum standards of how everyone should be treated by public bodies. These include basic rights to a fair trial, freedom from ill-treatment and protections against discrimination or unfair interference in private and family life.

McLaughlin the SNP’s justice spokesperson, said: “Mere days after International Human Rights Day, the Tory government is looking to overhaul the Human Rights Act – and based on the Tories track record that will most likely be a thinly veiled attack on the Act itself.

“The Tories have already shown they cannot be trusted to uphold human rights with their attempts to crush peaceful protest through the Policing Bill, their Judicial Review Bill and their Borders Bill. Dominic Raab must not go anywhere near the Human Rights Act.

“He claims that the UK will remain a party to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) but different Tory ministers have given us different answers on this. The Tory government must give a cast-iron guarantee that the UK Government will respect the provisions in the ECHR in full – no tinkering and no equivocation.

“And proposals for a ‘consultation’ with the devolved governments is not enough – nothing must be done without their consent.

“The Scottish Government believes the HRA remains essential and is highly effective in protecting human rights in Scotland and the UK – and the Tory government must respect that.”

She continued: “However, Scotland has been sidelined repeatedly on issues like this so I don’t hold out much hope.”