Has Theresa May finally won the battle to deport Abu Qatada?

There has been a 10-year legal battle to deport radical cleric Abu Qatada. Photo: Press Association

He's so nearly gone Home Office sources don't want to say it.

It's being widely reported that Abu Qatada will be taken from Belmarsh prison tonight, brought to RAF Northolt in West London, and flown to Jordan onboard a chartered jet at around 2am.

When I asked the Prime Minister about this a few weeks back he said that if Qatada left he'd be the happiest man in Britain.

After 6 Home Secretaries, 8 years and nearly two million pounds in legal fees, Theresa May looks like she has finally won the battle to deport Abu Qatada.

Once described as Osama Bin Laden's preacher in Europe, Qatada has been wanted on terror charges in Jordan since 1999.

Home Secretary Theresa May unveiled an agreement with Jordan earlier this year. Credit: Press Association

It is only now that Mrs May has signed a treaty with Jordan agreeing that the Jordanians will not use evidence obtained by torture against him that Qatada's departure looks likely.

Qatada's lawyers said that when that treaty was ratified, as it now has been, that he would drop his long legal fight to stay in Britain.

But there are still a few hours left for him to change his mind. Qatada has mounted last ditch legal challenges against deportation before.

The Home Office champagne is staying on ice until that plane is in the air.

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