- Britain's upper house of parliament has voted against
provisions in a new emergency anti-terrorist bill that make incitement
to religious hatred a crime.
The new law had been proposed in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks
on the United States.
British Home Secretary David Blunkett has said he was setting up a special
committee in a bid to convince sceptics and save the bill.
The committee would monitor the application of the law over a two-year
period and propose changes to assuage fears.
But the un-elected House of Lords appeared unconvinced and threw out the
provision on religious hatred with 240 votes against 141.
The bill is the first to encounter parliamentary opposition since Prime
Minister Tony Blair was re-elected in June.
Blunkett had called the proposal an "act of a listening government",
but acknowledged that the bill raised concerns because of its "speed
Last week, he warned that Britain risked a terrorist attack over the Christmas
period due to its support for the United States in its anti-terrorism war
But opposition Conservatives have accused Blunkett of using the terrorist
threat to push through the law and strengthen police powers
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