Tough new measures to combat the threat posed to the UK by terrorist groups will be announced by David Cameron in parliament today.
The Prime Minister is expected to unveil plans to ban British-born jihadists fighting in Iraq and Syria from returning to the UK, in a bid to guard against potential attacks.
The announcement comes as it emerged that terrorism prevention and investigation measures, or Tpims, introduced by the coalition to replace Labour’s controversial control orders, are not widely used by the authorities.
The Home Office has confirmed that there are currently no active Tpims in the UK, raising questions about how effective they are. Tpims restrict the movement and access to the internet and phones of people thought to be involved in terrorism within the UK.
Bringing back control orders would be a controversial and legally difficult move, after a senior judge ruled them illegal under human rights convention in 2006. Home Office lawyers were last night understood to be examining ways of strengthening Tpims.
Cameron is also expected to announce today new powers that make it easier to temporarily remove passports from those involved with terror groups, including the Islamic State (IS).
This comes after the Prime Minister raised the UK threat level from substantial to severe on Friday, warning of “gaps in our armoury” which need to be toughened to meet the increased threat.
“We need to do more to stop people travelling, to stop those who do go from returning and to deal decisively with those who are already here,” Cameron said.
Stricter anti-terror measures have the backing of both Labour and the Liberal Democrats. A Lib Dem spokesman last night said Nick Clegg would “take very seriously” any proposal to toughen up Tpims, while Labour’s Hazel Blears said her party would back the government.
Elsewhere, the Financial Times reported that terror suspects could be barred from re-entry to Britain while retaining their British citizenship. The Telegraph said the premier had ruled out a return to control orders while Sky News said Britain’s agencies would have access to better airline passenger information.