Diane Abbott rages against Patel and demands deportation flight for criminals be cancelled
Jeremy Vine guests clash over Jamaican deportation flight
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The Labour MP is pushing for Home Secretary Priti Patel to abandon a planned deportation flight on August 11. Those set to be onboard the aeroplane have all been convicted of a crime and served at least 12 months in prison.
Ms Abbott has demanded the deportations be cancelled, saying “most of those scheduled for deportation have only minor, non-violent offences”.
Labour politicians and left-wing activists have repeatedly demanded the end to the deportation flights, warning they risk a new Windrush scandal.
They say they fear British citizens could accidentally be deported.
Calling for the August 11 flight to be scrapped, Ms Abbott said: “I am shocked to learn that the Home Office is planning another mass deportation on August 11.
“These deportations reinforce the Government’s ongoing Hostile Environment policy and are wrong.
“Most to those scheduled for deportation have lived in the UK for over 20 years with many arriving in the UK as children.
“One person has not been to Jamaica since they were three months old and numerous detainees report being victims of torture.
“Despite Government claims, most of those scheduled for deportation have only minor, non-violent offences on their record.
“The Home Office must cancel the flights and end the Hostile Environment.”
Ms Abbott was shadow home secretary under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and would have been in charge of the country’s migration system if Labour had won the 2019 election.
It is unknown exactly what offences have been committed by those being deported later this month, but previous charter operations have included individuals with sentences for murder, rape, child sexual offences, dealing class A drugs and violent crime, including firearm offences.
Despite the claims by Ms Abbott, officials have told Express.co.uk the length of time a person has lived in the UK, as well as the strength of their social, cultural and family ties to the UK are considered before determining whether to go ahead with deportation.
Far from the image presented by opponents to the Home Office’s strategy, officials also said the UK is one of the only countries in the world to help support charities to reintegrate criminals into society after deportation.
Responding to the Labour MP’s demands, a Home Office spokesperson said: “We make no apology for seeking to remove those with no right to remain in the UK and dangerous foreign criminals, including those who have been convicted of grievous bodily harm, rape and crimes against children.
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“We regularly operate charter flights to countries around the world – to remove foreign offenders and those who have no right to be in the country.
“This flight is not linked to the Windrush Review or the wrongs that the Windrush Generation faced, none of those on the flight are British Citizens, British Nationals or members of the Windrush generation.”
Deportation flights are often subject to last-minute legal appeals by lawyers attempting to stop criminals from being returned to their home country.
The Home Secretary has repeatedly been left frustrated by “do-gooders” and “lefty lawyers” launching court appeals just days before flights are due to leave.
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