Row over Qatada case appeal

Home Secretary Theresa May has urged European judges to throw out an appeal by radical cleric Abu Qatada against his deportation.

Latest ITV News reports

May needs to answer questions over Qatada 'shambles'

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has labelled the handling of the Qatada deportation as 'a shambles' and said that it was shocking the Home Secretary could be to blame:

The idea that Abu Qatada could be back on the streets of London within weeks, if not days, as a result of the Home Secretary's decision is shocking.

Theresa May has told us herself how dangerous she believes this man to be, yet now her own shambles could be what gets him out of jail.

The job of the Home Secretary is to keep the public safe, not take risks with national security.

Theresa May needs to answer the serious questions she ducked yesterday.

The Home Secretary needs to come clean and explain how this fiasco happened and how she is taking responsibility to put it right.

Mrs May ignored reporters' questions over the row as she left the Stonewall workplace conference in central London this morning.

Downing Street still backs May

Downing Street said the Government would resist any application for bail by cleric Abu Qatada.

"If he applies for bail, we will oppose it vigorously," a No 10 spokeswoman said.

Asked if the Prime Minister still had full confidence in Mrs May, the spokeswoman replied: "Yes."

She added: "It is our firm intention to see him deported."

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Judge 'would consider bail' for Qatada

The Home Secretary is facing increased pressure over the deportation of Abu Qatada today as a ruling has been publishing showing that the British judge presiding over his detention would consider releasing him on bail if his deportation takes to long.

In a ruling posted on the website of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, Mr Justice Mitting said:

If it is obvious after two or three weeks have elapsed that deportation is not imminent... then I will reconsider bail

Abu Qatada 'could be out on bail in weeks'

The confusion caused by Abu Qatada's appeal against deportation could see him out on bail within weeks.

Abu Qatada leaves the Special Immigration Appeals Commission
Abu Qatada leaves the Special Immigration Appeals Commission Credit: Reuters

The Home Secretary Theresa May insisted the application by Qatada's lawyers to prevent him being sent to Jordan should be thrown out by the European Court of Human Rights because it missed a three-month appeal deadline.

But Labour has released advice from the research department of the Council of Europe - which is responsible for the court - suggesting it may have just beaten it.

May criticised for 'partying with X Factor judges' as Qatada lawyers appealed

Theresa May (right) with Lorraine Kelly at a birthday party at London's V&A museum. Credit: Richard Young / Rex Features

In heated exchanges in the Commons today, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper labelled the handling of Qatada's deportation a "farce".

"So on the Tuesday night deadline, while Abu Qatada was appealing to European Court judges, the Home Secretary, who thought the deadline was Monday night, was partying with X Factor judges," she said.

The Home Secretary insisted the appeal was launched after the deadline expired at midnight on Monday, but that the court had no automatic way of rejecting it on those grounds.

May was at a function on Tuesday night also attended by X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos.

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PM on Qatada: 'I wish I could take him to Jordan myself'

"The Home Secretary has made clear the issue over timing, but the real issue is over substance - and that is that this man [Abu Qatada] has no right to be in our country, he is a danger to our country, and we want to remove him from our country," the Prime Minister said today.

"I sometimes wish I could put him on a plane and take him to Jordan myself - but government has to act within the law," he said.

Prime Minister's 'full confidence' in Home Office's Qatada handling

by - Former Political Correspondent

The Prime Minister's spokeswoman was asked if David Cameron had full confidence in the Home Office.

'"Yes," was the reply.

She was also asked if the PM agreed with the Tory MP Mark Reckless' comments that the Home Office is '"institutionally incompetent".

"No," was the reply to that.

On whether the Home Secretary received legal advice on Qatada, the spokeswoman would only say that all government departments have access to legal advice and lawyers.

Labour accused of helping Qatada's lawyers

Tory MP Michael Ellis said Labour was engaging in "naked opportunism" by challenging the Home Secretary on the issue of the Abu Qatada's appeal deadline. He said:

"Monday the 16th was within three months. Tuesday the 17th would have been three months - not within three months.

Therefore the Home Secretary is right. Those on the benches opposite have been supporting and siding with Abu Qatada's lawyers and their argument in suggesting otherwise.

– Michael Ellis MP
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