The Home Secretary defended her plan to extend the controversial laws that would grant the police and security services access to phone and email records, insisting it would "keep citizens safe by catching criminals".

The proposals will force internet and phone providers to store details of customer calls, emails and website visits in a major expansion of surveillance laws.

May suggested the laws would only be used to access "crucial bits of information" and would not invade people's privacy.

She also denied that there was a lack of control over the laws despite admitting that there were more than 500,000 requests for such information.

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