Britain's prime minister Tony Blair has lost a crucial parliamentary vote on controversial anti terror measures that would allow police to hold a terror suspect for up to 90 days without charges.
He faced strong opposition within his own party, as well as from opposition Conservatives and Liberal-Democrats.
The 90 day provision was defeated by 322-291, a numerically bigger defeat than political analysts had been predicting. The House of Commons later approved a subsequent motion, doubling the current detention period to 28 days.
"We are living in a country that faces a real and serious threat of terrorism" Blair told MPs before the vote, saying it was their duty to back the police, BBC reports.
British police have said they need more time to conduct complex inquiries involving computers, cellphone records, identity checks, before being able to lay charges against terror suspects.
The Terrorism Bill was drafted in the wake of the 7 July 7 suicide bombings on London's transport system that killed 52 commuters and the four suspected bombers.
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