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Councillor provokes fresh storm over anti-terror interrogation

PUBLISHED: 15:52 11 July 2008 | UPDATED: 08:55 21 July 2010

A HACKNEY councillor has provoked outrage once again with controversial views on terrorism. Cllr Luke Akehurst is backing the contentious practice of extraordinary rendition - when people suspected of terrorist activity are taken against their will to an

A HACKNEY councillor has provoked outrage once again with controversial views on terrorism.

Cllr Luke Akehurst is backing the contentious practice of extraordinary rendition - when people suspected of terrorist activity are taken against their will to another country to be interrogated.

Cllr Akehurst suggested last month that a victim of a terrorist attack should stand in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election supporting the Counter Terrorism Bill, which proposes allowing suspects to be held in custody without charge for 42 days.

The Chatham ward councillor and Labour chief whip also said on an internet blog that he backed people being held without trial by the United States at its detainment camp in Guantanamo Bay.

"It's purely a personal view and nothing to do with my role as a councillor," said Cllr Akehurst. "I'm probably the only person in the Hackney Labour Party to have that view.

He added that, while he was not condoning torture or suggesting prisoners should be held indefinitely without being charged, they should be kept in a secure place.

Liberal Democrat councillor Dawood Akhoon said: "The kidnap and possible torture of individuals is an affront to the principles for which this country stands. Cllr Akehurst should be ashamed of himself"

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