Conservative MP Mark Reckless has criticised Theresa May’s legal strategy over the attempted deportation of Abu Qatada – but added that she has one more chance to succeed.
He said: “The Home Secretary has pursued throughout the wrong legal strategy, she’s got one last chance and what she needs to do is to put the key constitutional questions to the Supreme Court – who has the last word, Strasbourg or the Supreme Court?
"If she does that, I think she can still win.”
The Court of Appeal turned down May’s attempt to take to the Supreme Court her fight to have Qatada deported and she will now appeal directly to the highest court in the country.
Reckless added: “There is a real chance but she needs a proper point of law to argue…
“She needs to make this big constitutional argument because we can win that.”
At the Court of Appeal, lawyers for Home Secretary Theresa May had challenged a ruling made last November by immigration judges on the grounds that Qatada was a "truly dangerous" individual who had escaped deportation through "errors of law".
But three appeal judges said the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) was entitled to conclude that disputed statements will be used against Qatada.
Qatada, who featured in hate sermons found on videos in the flat of one of the 9/11 bombers, has ultimately thwarted every attempt by the Government to put him on a plane.A resident in the UK since September 1993, he was returned to jail last month after he was arrested for alleged bail breaches.
A hearing over whether he should be granted bail again was due to be held last month, but was delayed.
Police searched Qatada's family home in London before he was held and have since said that he is being investigated over extremist material.
This is an extremely serious and disappointing judgment which rips apart Theresa May's strategy for deporting Abu Qatada and contradicts her repeated assurances to Parliament that her approach would get him swiftly on to a plane.
According to security experts, the Home Secretary and the courts, this is an extremely dangerous man, and we all want him to be deported to stand fair trial abroad as soon as possible and to be held in custody in the meantime.
Appeal Judges upheld a decision made in November by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC):
SIAC was entitled to conclude that there is a real risk that the impugned statements will be admitted in evidence at a retrial and that, in consequence, there is a real risk of a flagrant denial of justice.
Lord Dyson, Lord Justice Richards and Lord Justice Elias said the court accepted that Qatada "is regarded as a very dangerous person", but that was not "a relevant consideration" under human rights laws.