Tory MPs demand Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer backs deportation flights for convicted foreign offenders


TORY MPs have written to Sir Keir Starmer demanding he backs the removal of convicted foreign offenders from the UK.

Nearly forty backbenchers have called on the Labour leader to distance himself from a group of his own MPs who wanted a ‘Con Air’ flight grounded.

Sir Keir Starmer has been urged to make his position on deportation clear

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Sir Keir Starmer has been urged to make his position on deportation clearCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Signatories included ex-shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott and ex-shadow Chancellor John McDonnell who wanted the Jamaica-bound journey cancelled.

The MPs want the Labour chief to “disavow” from their remarks that claimed the government was simply paying “lip service” to “righting wrongs and correcting injustices”.

They say they are concerned about Sir Keir’s “silence” over the flight returning the overseas criminals.

 But new Tory MP Shaun Bailey said: “The criminals on this flight were all convicted of serious offences, including rape, drug dealing and child sex offences.

“They caused immeasurable harm to this country, to our communities, and to the lives of the victims and their families.”

Flights have been returning foreign national offenders every week and since April planes have sent convicts back to countries including France, Germany and Nigeria.

The Tory MPs are demanding to know whether Sir Keir supports foreign criminals being removed and does he back the comments from his own MPs.

They also demand a guarantee that they will back Ministers in future efforts to remove such offenders after claiming the party is under “new management” since he became leader in April.

The group, that also includes Bishop Auckland’s Dehenna Davison and Blyth Valley’s Ian Levy, said the public rejected the soft touch approach to national security and law and order under Jeremy Corbyn.

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There have been protests against the deportation flights

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There have been protests against the deportation flightsCredit: PA:Press Association

A Labour spokesman last night said: “We know the Government behaved unlawfully in the handling of the Windrush scandal.

“We continue to raise these issues as a matter of urgency with the Home Office and will be holding the Government to account.

“Labour will always act in the national interest. We do not oppose the deportation of serious criminals who do not have legal right to remain, but the Home Office must not repeat the injustices of the Windrush scandal.”

A group of 17 convicted criminals deported from the UK to Jamaica have arrived in the capital, Kingston

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