David Cameron might be famous for forgetting what Magna Carta means in English, but that's not stopping him getting in on today's 800th anniversary celebrations to make his pledge for a British Bill of Rights.
The Prime Minister, who suffered an embarrassing interview with David Letterman in 2012, has today pledged (again) to scrapping the Human Rights Act brought in by Labourin 2000 and replacing it with a new system that he claims will “restore common sense to our legal system”.
Cameron has been angling to scrap the Human Rights Act as long ago as 2006, and a bill had been expected to be announced in the Queen's Speech, but was left out at the last minute. It is designed to give the UK's Supreme Court the ultimate power over decisions in the UK, rather than Europe, but some are concerned that it could lead to the UK withdrawing from the European Convention of Human Rights.
Cameron said: "It isn’t just about fixing the legal system. It’s also about restoring the reputation of rights.... After all, it was this country that invented the whole idea of rights."
Magna Carta was created because "the king had been behaving like a bully and there was no way for people to rein him in," Cameron said, noting that the charter "went on to change the world".
“That charter’s relevance remains. The sort of rights that flow from it — the right to life, the right not to be tortured, the right to a fair trial — these have helped Britain succeed over centuries.”
Cameron, who will be taking part in today's flotilla and unveiling of a new art installation to commemorate the anniversary, added: “We should all be proud of what happened 800 years ago. So let’s celebrate today’s anniversary. Let’s put human rights right.
“To those who say we can’t, I say of course we can. We’re the country that wrote Magna Carta; that has one of the oldest democracies and most respected legal systems the world over.
“Human rights weren’t invented with Labour’s Human Rights Act — they’ve been part of the fabric of our country for decades. We can write a British Bill of Rights. And with a majority Conservative government in office, we will do just that.”
In case you've forgotten what Cameron's Letterman appearance looked like, remind yourself with this video.