Qatada: Government can't just sit on their hands and wait for the appeal - Cooper

13 November 2012

Yvette CooperYvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, commenting after reports of the release of Abu Qatada, said:

“People will be horrified that Abu Qatada is now out on Britain's streets rather than on a plane as the Home Secretary promised earlier this year.

“Theresa May's strategy to deport Abu Qatada has clearly failed, despite all her confident predictions earlier this year. We need new action and a proper plan from Theresa May following her misplaced confidence.

“Clearly the Government must mount the strongest possible appeal against this worrying decision.
“But they can't just sit on their hands and wait for the appeal in the courts. Home Office Ministers should be setting off to Jordan straight away to discuss what additional action would get this sorted out. The Jordanian Government have already been very helpful so Ministers should act fast, so when will Ministers be on a plane?

“Theresa May also needs to take action to protect the public now in case her appeal fails. If the Court of Appeal doesn't back her, the only back stop to protect the public will be counter terror powers. Yet Theresa May watered down those powers by abolishing control orders so Abu Qatada will be able to use a mobile phone, he will be allowed to stay in London and move freely around the city. She needs to look urgently again at those powers.

“In April Theresa May told us Abu Qatada could be quickly deported on the back of her assurances from Jordan and didn’t consider appealing the original European Court judgement. So far that strategy has failed and instead a higher threshold has been set. There have been too many mistakes already over Abu Qatada. In the interests of public safety, national security and justice Theresa May needs to get this right.”