It is clear the Government has not done all it can to stop Abu Qatada being released - Yvette Cooper

13 February 2012

Yvette CooperYvette Cooper MP, Labour's Shadow Home Secretary, commenting on Abu Qatada, said:

"It is clear the Government has not done all it can to stop Abu Qatada being released from high-security prison today.

"As soon as the European Court judgement was delivered a month ago now the Government could have appealed the decision and begun urgent negotiations with the Jordanian Government. Instead the Government did nothing, leaving a judge to decide there was little progress being made in deporting Qatada and that bail was the only option.

"And still the Government have failed to appeal, while activity with the Jordanians seems restricted to belated calls from the PM and a trip to Jordan for James Brokenshire.

"We are also seriously concerned that should Qatada’s bail conditions be relaxed, within weeks he could be free to do the school run he has been banned from today. The Government’s scrapping of Control Orders means that even were Qatada to be given a new TPIM, he would be free to move around during the day, even using the internet and a mobile phone.

"Inaction from this Government could soon be followed by more failure after the Home Secretary’s decision to weaken counter terror powers designed to deal with situations like this. In issues of national security a more urgent and less cavalier approach is needed."