Nearly 100 MPs - many of them Tory backbenchers - voted today to give ministers rather than judges the final say over whether deportation would breach the human rights of foreign criminals.

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The Tory rebels

Lowestoft MP Peter Aldous

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon

North-East Cambridgeshire MP Stephen Barclay

North-West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham

Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley

Tory MP Dominic Raab’s amendment to the Immigration Bill was defeated by 241 votes to 97, Government majority 144.

The amendment only failed thanks to opposition from Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs. Downing Street, anticipating a massive rebellion, decided to order Tory ministers to abstain so as not to lose face.

During the debate, Mr Raab said foreign criminals were using their right to a family life as the “joker” to escape deportation.

The MP for Esher and Walton said many crime victims were being put at risk because their attacker remained in the UK, as he told the Commons that human rights had become “dirty words”.

He said it was time the law was changed so foreign criminals could no longer use Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights - a right to a family life - to escape deportation.

The House of Commons heard that a Freedom of Information request from the MP had found there were up to 400 cases each year where foreign criminals used Article 8 to avoid being sent to their home country, while 89% of all successful appeals to remain in the UK relied on criminals basing their claim on a right to a family life.

Under the Immigration Bill, the Government wants to oblige judges to take in to account factors in favour of deporting a criminal.

But Mr Raab says this change would still mean too much discretion for judges to allow those who want to stay in the UK to claim a right to a family life.

He has tabled an amendment to the Bill - supported by 105 other MPs - which would give the Home Secretary the decision in any case. The only route left to a foreign criminal after a decision taken by the Home Secretary would be in the High Court.

Today, Mr Raab told the House of Commons the victims of crime wanted foreign criminals deported.

He said: “You really do actually have to study the case law of the Immigration Tribunal to appreciate the extent to which these cases walk the moral balance of British justice, endanger the public and frankly, for many people outside of parliament, make human rights dirty words. That is something I deeply regret.

“Some argue the rights of the partners and children of serious convicted criminals must be given due weight. But in reality, and this is the crucial point, Article 8 is being expanded to protect the criminals’ rights and not their families. Far from safeguarding the vulnerable, it can expose them to undue pressure, if not worse, by dangerous offenders.”

He added: “My amendment is different from (the Government’s proposal) because it is mandatory. Serious offenders cannot use Article 8 as the joker to wheel, pull out, trump deportation.

“Unless there is a tangible threat to life or limb, these convicted killers, rapists, drug-dealers and other very serious criminals should be sent home. They should not stay on the streets of Britain.”

Earlier, there was confusion in the Commons as Home Secretary Theresa May sought to attack Mr Raab’s amendment just as Downing Street was ordering ministers to abstain in the vote.

She told MPs that Mr Raab’s amendment was “incompatible” with the European Convention on Human Rights.

mfl

12 comments

  • I see that Cllr Cowan is totally at ease with the protection afforded to the foreign unsavoury elements residing . here. The Human Rights Act is a charter for them and totally against the British publics interests. And by comparing a step to give us the ability to rid ourselves of people, often convicted criminals from foreign countries, comparing this country to N Korea is typical of the political clap trap too often heard from yes, politcians. What foreign laws are you referring to Counciilor?

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Friday, January 31, 2014

  • Even had the amendment passed UK Government would still have had its hands tied by International Law. In reality makes no difference unless those Tory Rebels want to turn the UK into a North Korean style state.

    Report this comment

    CllrJohnCowan

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Would rather have Theresa May making these decisions than some daft senile old judge, totally out of touch with the world today. If people knew that they would definitely be deported for breaking the law, the amount of crime would come tumbling down. If they thought anything about their family life, they would not break the law.

    Report this comment

    DaveG

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • more proof that labour and the libdems do not care about public safety

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Friday, January 31, 2014

  • I would rather an impartial professional like a judge decided.

    Report this comment

    bedoomed

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • read the lines . This bill failed because of opposition from labour and liberal democrat mps. The british public are put at huge risk because of these people. Election time is coming and we need to remind people of the way labour and liberal mps voted in such an important case

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Friday, January 31, 2014

  • Thanks for pointing out the facts Cllr. Cowan. The UK has signed up to the EU human rights act and it is, judiciarly speaking, obliged to accept EU lawmaking. Criminals of the world are currently living in penthouses in London, you see as long as you are rich, you have lawyers keeping you out of extradition suits, its only the one's without means that are ever deported. My MP, Richard Bacon, has also signed the gagging law, so on very sensitive subjects such as this, like the harbouring of rich tax scroungers, off shorers or human rights criminals coming here from Saudi,Uzbekistan, Azerbidjan, you will not be able to make your voices heard in future, protests by NGO's has been stifled by this gagging law.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, February 2, 2014

  • Thanks for pointing out the facts Cllr. Cowan. The UK has signed up to the EU human rights act and it is, judiciarly speaking, obliged to accept EU lawmaking. Criminals of the world are currently living in penthouses in London, you see as long as you are rich, you have lawyers keeping you out of extradition suits, its only the one's without means that are ever deported. My MP, Richard Bacon, has also signed the gagging law, so on very sensitive subjects such as this, like the harbouring of rich tax scroungers, off shorers or human rights criminals coming here from Saudi,Uzbekistan, Azerbidjan, you will not be able to make your voices heard in future, protests by NGO's has been stifled by this gagging law.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, February 2, 2014

  • more proof mps do not represent the peoples wishes . Take the case of schoolgirl amy houston . She was run over and killed by a failed asylum seeker who just got four months jail . Even after his sentence the last labour goverment failed to deport him . Her father is still fighting for this asylum seeker to be deported

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Friday, January 31, 2014

  • Come here to live in the UK and commit crimeterrorism then yes they should be deported full stop. If people went to a certain Country and committed a serious crime they would have no hands or at worst no head. The UK is to soft

    Report this comment

    che bramley

    Friday, January 31, 2014

  • Bedoomed....are you serious....an impartial professional like a judge, have you heard some of the decisions these old out of touch sorts make.

    Report this comment

    Jimhow

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • The judges are bound to carry out the letter of the law. In theory that is, in practice they have proven time and time again to make their own interpretation and very much in favour of the miscreant. Cameron ,among his many many promises, promised to revise the Human Rights Act to stop its abuse and bring the power back to the UK away from Europe. Still waiting for that to happen. Imagine that is on the same level of importance as a referendum.

    Report this comment

    stormy

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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