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Bright Blue is today launching a new essay collection on Conservatism and human rights, with a keynote speech from the former Attorney General, the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP.

The Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP wrote the foreword for the essay collection, strongly supporting the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as being in “our national interest”. The former Home Office Minister, the Rt Hon Damian Green MP, wrote a chapter in the essay collection, arguing that “the British Bill of Rights would have failed if it led in future to the resignation or removal of the UK from the Council of Europe for breaching the European Convention on Human Rights”.

In his keynote speech, the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP will say:

“It is something of a fashion today to criticise the Human Rights Act and the workings of the European Court of Human Rights. But seldom do we acknowledge the good the ECHR has done. The Court has been at the forefront of developments in human rights that people in this country have come to take for granted such as the rights of illegitimate children, the right of fair trial, or the rights of LGBT people. It has made the Court in more oppressive countries than ours a beacon of hope. That is something we should seek to support, build upon and not drag down”.

Commenting, the Director of Bright Blue – Ryan Shorthouse – said:

“At the heart of conservatism is a belief in individual freedom, especially from an overarching state. Human rights are fundamental to conservatism because they protect people from undue power.

“Conservatives should avoid the temptation to score political points by joining the chorus of criticism against human rights. Rather, they should work to ensure that fundamental human rights are better understood and enhanced. That means ensuring the proposed British Bill of Rights incorporates in its entirety the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law.”

The essay collection includes contributions from a range of leading decision makers and opinion formers, both conservative and independent, including:

  • Trevor Phillips OBE (Former Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission) on Conservatives and race equality
  • The Rt Hon Maria Miller MP (Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee) on tackling gender discrimination
  • Ruth Hunt (CEO of Stonewall) on tackling LGBT discrimination
  • Timothy Stanley (Columnist, The Daily Telegraph) on protecting Christian Britain
  • Crispin Blunt MP (Chair, Foreign Affairs Select Committee) on the role of human rights in British diplomacy
  • Justin Forsyth (Former CEO, Save the Children) on responding to the refugee crisis
  • Professor Sir Paul Collier (Professor of Economics & Public Policy, University of Oxford) on ending global poverty
  • The Rt Hon Damian Green MP (Former Minister for Immigration) on what should be in the British Bill of Rights
  • The Rt Hon Sir Malcolm Rifkind (Former Foreign Secretary) on intelligence in the internet age


Notes to editors:

For further media enquiries, please contact our Communications Manager of Bright Blue, Laura Round, on or 07543759844.