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Insights from the UK and beyond

Was the Davis by-election a gimmick?

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daviddavis.jpgTo nobody’s great surprise, David Davis swept home at the “liberties” by-election in his Yorkshire seat that he himself had engineered by resigning.

With neither of the other main parties standing, he was left to romp home in a field devoid of any serious rivals.

Davis says his stand was a shot across the bows of a government that he believes is crushing civil liberties by, among other things, trying to get the right to hold terrorist suspects for up to six weeks without charge.

Sun’s man gets gaffe in early

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mackenzie.jpgFormer Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie has scored the first own goal of the Haltemprice & Howden by-election, just hours after saying he was a likely candidate for the Humberside seat.

In off-camera comments broadcast by BBC television he described Hull as “an absolute shocker, it’s beyond shock, actually.”

David Davis – what the papers say

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david.jpg Leader writers applauded the shock value of David Davis’ resignation but were divided over his motives and predicted the potentially shambolic by-election to come would damage the Conservative party.

With the LibDems already having said they will not field a candidate on July 10 and Labour still mulling the options, the papers raised the spectre of Davis campaigning alone against fringe parties like the Monster Raving Loonies and a motley crew of publicity-seekers.

A courageous decision?

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daviddavis1.jpg“Courageous” is how Conservative Leader David Cameron described the decision by his shadow home secretary, David Davis, to quit his parliamentary seat and force a by-election over the issue of pre-charge detention.

Davis says he will contest the seat to take a stand on the erosion of civil liberties caused by the proposal to extend to 42 days the time police can hold terrorism suspects without charge.

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