Ukip leader Paul Nuttall has suggested he may be prepared to back the detention without trial of suspected terrorists.
Mr Nuttall said he “wouldn’t take anything off the table” when it came to dealing with the threat of violent extremism, including a return to internment.
“When you read this morning there’s a suspected 23,000 jihadis living amongst us, obviously MI5 are stretched to capacity,” he told BBC1 show ‘The Andrew Neil Interviews’.
“I think we’ve got to look at ways of ensuring that our people are safe, whether that is a return to control orders, whether that is tagging these people, who knows in the future maybe a return to internment.”
The figure he cited appears to be a reference to the news that as many as 23,000 people have appeared on the radar of counter-terror agencies (although the period which the figure covers is unclear), with about 3,000 people thought to be the subject of current inquiries.
Mr Nuttall said while he is not advocating an immediate return to detention without trial, it should not be ruled out for the future given the scale of the terrorist threat.
“I’m not saying now is the time to return to this, but I wouldn’t rule it out,” he said.
“I wouldn’t take anything off the table in the future because, as I say, unless we get a grip on this, what happened in Manchester the other night, which is part of my constituency, could become commonplace.”
Mr Nuttall reaffirmed his support for “hard measures”, including waterboarding, in the interrogation of suspects.
“If we were in the situation where there was going to be an immediate attack and people’s lives were on the line, I want to see British families protected. I would put their lives over the human rights of any jihadi,” he said.