McKinnon's mum takes on Straw in election

Janis Sharp, the mother of UFO hacker Gary McKinnon, has announced she is to stand in the General Election against Jack Straw.

Straw, the former Labour Home Secretary and current Minister of Justice has an 8,000-vote majority in his Blackburn constituency.

In a statement through the Free Gary web site, Sharp's folk say that Straw was Foreign Secretary at the time of the UK Government's secret extradition treaty negotiations with the US Government which resulted in the Extradition Act 2003, to which Gary McKinnon and other extradition cases to the USA have fallen foul.

Asperger's sufferer McKinnon was first arrested in 2002 and has been fighting extradition since 2005.

Straw, Sharp says "is personally at least as much to blame for the ongoing legal travesty and betrayal of British sovereignty as any of his Labour Government colleagues.

"The fact that the Gary McKinnon extradition case has exceeded the lifetime of this current Parliament, is a scandal which belies any promises of swift or fair justice, made by this Labour government."

Sharp, standing as an independent candidate, said she is running not only because of Gary' plight but also because because the "erosion of civil liberties taking place in Britain concerns me greatly."

Sharp told the BBC that Straw backs trial without jury and was happy to oppose the extradition of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet but seems quite happy for her son Gary, an unlikely terrorist if ever there were one, to languish in a US jail.

McKinnon himself is due back in court on 25 and 26 May, some three weeks after the General election. He'll be hoping his mum manages to wangle her way to becoming Home Secretary by then.