Downing Street to examine judicial reviews after Jamaican criminals saved from deportation

12 February 2020, 06:02 | Updated: 12 February 2020, 13:35

Boris Johnson was reported to be 'furious' over the move to halt deportations
Boris Johnson was reported to be 'furious' over the move to halt deportations. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The Home Office is reviewing the cases of eight detainees who were due to be deported to Jamaica as Downing Street examines the judicial review process.

The Home Office will review the cases of eight people who were due to be deported to Jamaica after fresh legal representations were made.

They were among a group of 50 foreign national offenders who were due to be on a chartered deportation flight that left the UK at around 7.30am on Tuesday.

Read more: Corbyn brings up PM’s 'class A drugs' past in fiery clash at PMQs amid deportation row

But it took off with 17 on board after a last-minute legal battle between the Government and human rights campaigners.

Officials and ministers have said all were foreign criminals who committed serious offences.

But campaigners, supported by 150 MPs, say they came to the country as children, are "British in every meaningful way" and some were sentenced for one-time drug offences when they were young.

The government now fears that those remaining will secure bail within days and be released from immigration removal centres.

They can only remain in the centres if there is a reasonable prospect of their removal from the UK. 

The Daily Mail newspaper reported Boris Johnson was understood to be 'furious' at the prospect of serious offenders being loose.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said the government made “no apology for trying to protect the public from serious, violent and persistent foreign national offenders”.

The Times newspaper reported the PM is planning to accelerate moves to limit the powers of campaign groups and individuals to use the judicial review process to challenge ministers.

While his advisor Dominic Cummings is reported to have said that the Court of Appeal decision was “a perfect symbol of the British state’s dysfunction” and that there would be “urgent action on the farce that judicial review has become”.

Asked why the flight had gone ahead during legal challenges, the prime minister said: “Obviously we don’t want to do anything that’s in contravention of the law, but on the other hand I think these individuals should have taken the precaution of not being serious criminals.”

"I think the public will understand that it's right for us to deport people who are guilty of very serious offences."

According to ITV, the PM's chief advisor Dominic Cummings told No 10 officials that support for the ruling to delay deportation of the people by some MPs showed they “haven’t understood what the last few years has been about”. He added: “The country outside London is horrified.”

Home Office figures show that 7,300 foreign criminals are living in Britain.

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