Cameron preparing to scrap 'imperfect' terror control orders

Control orders used against terror suspects are "imperfect" and need to be replaced, the Prime Minister said yesterday amid concern among Tories that they could be abolished to bolster the coalition.

David Cameron said he was working with deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to find another system that kept the country safe while respecting civil liberties.

Former director of public prosecutions and Lib Dem peer Lord Macdonald has been carrying out a review of the measures.

Shipley MP Philip Davies said control orders must not be sacrificed for the sake of bolstering the Tories' coalition partners.

"If these decisions are taken on trying to accommodate and pacify the Liberal Democrats, that would be an unacceptable basis upon which to take these decisions. We are talking here about a very, very serious threat that people face in this country. The decisions taken on control orders should be taken based on what is right for the people of this country," he said.

Mr Cameron told reporters during a visit to Leicester: "I think we need a system that keeps the country safe but that respects our freedoms. Nick Clegg and I are working very hard to bring this about.

"The control order system is imperfect. Everybody knows that."

He added: "It's not about a victory for the Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats. It's about trying to do the right thing for our country, for the security of our country and our civil liberties."

There had been speculation the junior coalition partner was on the verge of getting its way on the orders after taking a major hit over university tuition fee rises. The Liberal Democrats campaigned for the abolition of control orders at the General Election.

Mr Cameron is facing pressure from senior Tories, including Sir Malcolm Rifkind, chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, who have warned him not to cave in to Lib Dem demands.