In a dramatic stepping up of the response to the bloody attacks in London and Manchester, the Prime Minister insisted she was ready to withdraw Britain from parts of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Her announcement of a drastic increase in the powers of police and courts to crack down on terror suspects came less than 36 hours before the polls open in the General Election.
“We should make it easier for the authorities to deport foreign terror suspects to their own countries,” she told a rally of Tory supporters in Slough, Berkshire.
Theresa May made the comments at a rally in Slough
“We should do even more to restrict the freedom and the movements of terrorist suspects when we have enough evidence to know they present a threat, but not enough evidence to prosecute them in full in court. If human rights laws get in the way of doing these things, we will change those laws to make sure we can do them.”
She added: “If I am elected as Prime Minister on Thursday, I can tell you that this vital work begins on Friday.”
Tory sources said the Prime Minister was determined not to let European judges prevent the new government introducing new curfews, restrictions on known terrorists gathering together and curbs on their communications.
The PM insisted she would withdraw Britain from parts of the European Convention on Human Rights
Theresa May speaks to employees at a ScrewFix distribution centre in Stoke On Trent
The sources denied the move would mean a return to the control orders previously used to place suspects under strict supervision, which were diluted under the coalition government.
One possible solution was using rules that allow suspension of some human rights laws in military conflicts to be extended to terrorism cases.
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Mrs May said: “We need to do much more to take on the ideology that unites and motivates the perpetrators of these attacks.
“We need to get international agreements to regulate cyberspace and stop terrorist planning online.
“We need to stamp out extremism in our own communities, here in Britain.
The PM claimed Brexit can 'reignite the spirit of the British people'
“And in light of the changing and increasingly complex threat, we need to make sure that the police and security and intelligence agencies have the powers they need.”
Mrs May insisted she was not making up policy “on the hoof” just two days before the General Election.
But she said further antiterrorism measures were urgently needed: “We should have longer prison sentences for people convicted of terrorist offences.
“We should make it easier for the authorities to deport foreign terror suspects to their own countries.”
Earlier she declared her hope that Brexit can “reignite the spirit of the British people” to build a stronger future.
In an upbeat rallying cry on the penultimate campaigning day of the General Election, the Prime Minister called for the country to work together to maximise the benefit from quitting the EU.
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But she also warned that only a Tory victory in tomorrow’s poll could ensure the country has a strong team under her leadership to negotiate a new deal with Brussels.
“The question people will face on Thursday is what sort of country we want to be in the future,” she told a rally of Tory supporters in Stoke-on-Trent. “It is about who has the leadership to take us through those Brexit negotiations and build a stronger future for our country.
“The opportunities before us are enormous, the promise of Brexit is great. But we do have to make sure that we get those Brexit negotiations right and we get the best deal for Britain in Europe."
Mrs May visited Stoke-onTrent during a whistle-stop tour of the country in her blue campaign battle bus that also took in North Wales, Fleetwood, Cheltenham and Slough.