After nearly a decade and more than £1m of taxpayers’ money has been spent, fighting against the European Court of Human Rights and our own often self-defeating and rather crackpot legal system, Theresa May has finally achieved what FIVE Labour Home Secretaries failed to do!
Omar Mahmoud Othman (also known as ‘Abu Qatada’) – the al-Qaeda affiliated Islamist hate preacher – has finally been put on a jet at RAF Northolt and flown out of this country and back to Jordan. Good riddance!
It comes after a mammoth effort on the Home Secretary’s part, culminating in the signing of a treaty with the Kingdom of Jordan, guaranteeing that Mr Othman will not face torture or the use of evidence in his trial that has been obtained under torture. It is a tremendous achievement on Mrs May’s part and I am proud that it is this Conservative-led government that has finally removed a very dangerous man from our shores to face justice in his own country. Thanks are also due to His Majesty the King of Jordan, who secured the deportation by agreeing to the treaty.
Now that this has been achieved, steps must be taken to ensure that ludicrous situations such as this can never be allowed to happen again. It is clear that our human rights laws need radical reform, as they have turned this sorry saga into a complete absurdity. There is a clear case to trim away some of the many layers of appeals available to foreign nationals we are trying to deport. I think it is also pretty clear that the ECHR – and our relationship with it – needs to be examined.
I trust that Mrs May will now turn her attentions to the new Immigration Bill to address these issues.