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Yvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, commenting on doubt over Abu Qatada's deportation, said:
“The Home Secretary needs to urgently come back to Parliament to tell the public what on earth has happened here.
"The Home Office are saying one thing, the European Court another. Why didn't they just agree the deadline in advance so there could be no opportunity for Abu Qatada or his lawyers to exploit?
“We said to Theresa May yesterday that there seemed to be a troubling level of confusion over this process, and so it has proved.
"Everyone wants Abu Qatada deported and held in custody in the meantime, in line with the security assessment agreed by the Government and courts. But we don't want to see that jeopardised by confusion at the Home Office.
“The ECHR judgment, dated 17 January, says that 3 months must pass before the judgment is final and before deportation proceedings could begin again against Abu Qatada.
“We need urgent clarification from the Home Secretary on whether she got the timing wrong and why checks were not made with the ECHR, whether Abu Qatada may now be released because of a Government mistake, and what is happening now to ensure this process is put back on track.”