In December 2020 Priti Patel claimed Labour “stands up for the murderers, rapists, sex offenders” over its reaction to the Government’s attempts to deport 36 convicted criminals to Jamaica. Now she wants to cut the length of jail term offenders serve, by which they can be deported.
MPs previously heard all those to be on the flight were Jamaican citizens, with offences committed by some in the group including sexual assault against children, murder, rape, drug dealing and violent crime.
Labour and celebrities were among those to raise concerns, including over whether any were affected by immigration injustices.
Speaking in the Commons, Conservative Richard Holden (North West Durham) asked Ms Patel about Labour’s reaction to the deportations.
Ms Patel replied: “Once upon a time the party opposite claimed it was tough on crime and the causes of crime.”
Speaking to the Telegraph, a Home Office source said: “Despite protestations from the Labour Party and do-gooding celebrities, the Home Secretary has not let up in her determination to remove foreign criminals from our country.
“We have removed 1,100 this year and will push on with plans to increase this next year.”
Now Priti Patel is looking at making it easier to remove offenders who are given short sentences, a change that would undo legislation introduced by the last Labour government, reports The Times
Foreign criminals given six-month prison sentences could be subject to deportation for the first time under plans being considered by the home secretary, halving the current threshold.
The measures are likely to form part of the Sovereign Borders Bill, which is due to be published within the next few months.
Under plans currently being considered by the Home Office, the new Bill will update Labour’s 2007 UK Border Act which set out how those jailed for at least 12 months must be considered for automatic deportation.
The new Bill is also expected to introduce a raft of other amendments which will make deportation easier.