Priti Patel ignores woke stars as she pledges ‘regular drumbeat’ of deportation flights to Jamaica
- Last month, 23 people, including rapists and a murderer – due to be deported to Caribbean country – were removed at the 11th hour after legal challenges
- Similar reprieves for some of those due to be flown out of UK on February flight
- Celebrities Naomi Campbell, Thandie Newton and Naomie Harris joined more than 60 MPs in writing to Ms Patel calling for deportation flight to be cancelled
Priti Patel (above) has vowed to defy ‘do-gooder’ celebrities and activist lawyers by making deportation flights to Jamaica a ‘regular drumbeat’
Priti Patel has vowed to defy ‘do-gooder’ celebrities and activist lawyers by making deportation flights to Jamaica a ‘regular drumbeat’.
The Home Secretary was dismayed last month when 23 people, including rapists and a murderer, who were due to be deported to the Caribbean country were instead removed at the 11th hour after legal challenges.
In the end only 13 criminals were returned.
There were similar reprieves for some of those due to be flown out of the UK on a flight in February.
Since April, the Government has chartered more than 30 flights to deport criminals to countries including Albania, France, Germany, Ghana, Lithuania, Nigeria, Poland and Spain.
But a source close to Ms Patel said: ‘Each time we do a flight to Jamaica it becomes a big event. We have done two last year and both ended up with statements in Parliament. We run flights to Albania sometimes twice a week.
‘This year we will see the number of flights to Jamaica go up. They will become a regular drumbeat.
‘It’s not fair on either the migrants or the taxpayer to have people stuck in a system where they are about to be deported.’
Celebrities including model Naomi Campbell, the actresses Thandie Newton (left) and Naomie Harris (right) and historian David Olusoga joined more than 60 MPs in writing to Ms Patel calling for the deportation flight to be cancelled
Celebrities including model Naomi Campbell, the actresses Thandie Newton and Naomie Harris and historian David Olusoga joined more than 60 MPs in writing to Ms Patel calling for the deportation flight to be cancelled.
Those who avoided extradition after lawyers intervened included Michael White, a drug dealer who was sentenced to a minimum of 18 years in jail for murder and attempted murder in 2003, and Jermaine Stewart, who was sentenced to six years in jail in 2016 for rape.
Ms Patel accused the MPs of ‘re-traumatising’ victims of rape and other serious crimes by challenging the removals and described those defending the ‘broken’ immigration appeals system as ‘do-gooders’ and ‘Leftie lawyers’.
A total of 1,128 foreign-born serious offenders were deported last year, including 23 murderers, 189 rapists and 70 child sex offenders.
The Home Office is considering legislation allowing the deportation of foreign criminals sentenced to at least six months in jail.
Under the current 2007 UK Borders Act, their term must be at least 12 months.
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