MP backs more rights to protect homeowners

CAMBRIDGESHIRE MP Shailesh Vara believes householders deserve greater rights when it comes to protecting themselves in their own homes. The MP for North West Cambridgeshire said that if his new Private Member s Bill is turned into legislation, it would cl

CAMBRIDGESHIRE MP Shailesh Vara believes householders deserve greater rights when it comes to protecting themselves in their own homes.

The MP for North West Cambridgeshire said that if his new Private Member's Bill is turned into legislation, it would clarify the existing law and give people more security in their own homes.

But the Home Office and Labour back-benchers have branded his Bill as "unnecessary and unhelpful."

Mr Vara's idea would amend existing law so that only those deemed to have used "grossly disproportionate force" while defending their own property or loved ones, will be prosecuted.


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This would replace the current test, which looks at "reasonable force."

"It is important to have proper and clear law in the area of householders dealing with intruders," he said. "The law here is completely outdated and in need of reform.

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"I believe that most people will agree that individuals should have the right to defend their home and family from intruders, and that this may, on occasions, require the use of force."

He stressed that the Bill was not aimed at resolving the row caused by Norfolk farmer Tony Martin who was convicted of manslaughter. Mr Martin shot a burglar in the back following a break-in at his remote farmhouse.

Supporters of the Bill include Mr Vara's fellow Conservative politician, Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly, Labour MPs Frank Field and Lindsay Hoyle, Ulster Unionist Lady Hermon and Independent Richard Taylor.

However, the Bill is only 13th on the list of Private Members' Bilsl, and it does not look likely to become law without Home Office backing, which it does not currently have.

Mr Vara said: "Unfortunately the Home Office has already signalled its opposition to my Bill but I am hoping MPs will see the benefits it would have and support it.

"My Bill already has cross-party support and I hope that there will be a reasoned and sensible debate on the subject. I hope this long overdue reform is passed into law.

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