Eric Pickles, the Shadow Local Government and Communities Secretary, has called for “stronger checks and balances” to protect the rights of citizens as the surveillance state grows under Labour.

The Local Government Association has urged every council in the country to urgently review the surveillance operations they carry out under anti-terror laws – and Eric stressed there was “real public concern” about the threat to privacy and liberty from misuse of these powers.

The Shadow Home Secretary, Dominic Grieve, welcomed the actions of the Local Government Association, saying:

“The public will be alarmed that such strong powers introduced under the guise of counter-terrorism are being used by councils. They must be as tightly controlled as if they were being used by the police or security services.”