London, Oct.6 : The British Government has decided to abandon its proposal to hold terrorist suspects for 42 days after being told that it will be defeated in the House of Lords.
Ministers have privately admitted that there is not "a cat in Hell's chance" of the legislation being passed into law when it returns to the House of Lords this week. The Government has decided against using the Parliament Act to force the measure through after peers reject it, The Times has learnt.
That decision will effectively confine the controversial proposal - which the Prime Minister fought tooth and nail to get through a Commons vote in June - to the legislative dustbin.
The Terrorism Act 2006 increased the pre-charge detention limit from 14 to 28 days. The imminent abandonment of the proposal to extend this further to 42 days comes after mounting criticism from senior figures in the fight against terrorism.