The Home Secretary Theresa May faced fresh calls to reveal the advice she received on the deadline for Abu Qatada to appeal to the ECHR, after the BBC raised doubts over the time limit on Monday.
– Luciana Berger, Labour MP Liverpool Wavertree
We do know the BBC informed the Home Office on Monday that there was some uncertainty around the deadline. On that basis, why didn't you wait an extra 24 hours before making your announcement?"
May did not budge from her position that the deadline was April 16th. She dismissed the idea that the Home Office would take advice from the BBC saying:
– Home Secretary Theresa May
Obviously, it is the view of the Opposition that the best advice to Government should always come from the BBC. I can only assume that's what they did when they were in government.
Chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee Keith Vaz said Home Office staff should have known that the three-month time limit to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights begins the day after the original decision.
Vaz said he was concerned a North London firm of legal aid solicitors had been able to "outwit" the Government's highly paid barristers.
The Home Secretary Theresa May heard arguments from within her party to stick "two fingers to the ECHR", "withdraw from the European Convention" and "repeal the Human Rights Act."
The comments come as May was questioned over the right for Abu Qatada to make a last minute appeal against being deported to Jordan on the grounds that he would be subjected to torture. MP for Broxbourne said:
– Chris Walker MP
You must not delay in getting this scumbag and his murderous mates on a plane out of this country. And in so doing would you send a metaphorical two fingers to the ECHR?
May was then commended on her efforts to deport Qatada by chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee, Bill Cash.
– Bill Cash MP
The root cause of this is the question of what is the rule of law, whose rule of law and who interprets it? It should be decided in this House. We should withdraw from the European Convention, we should repeal the Human Rights Act and we should get the matter straight because the people of this country demand it."
The Home Secretary Theresa May and Labour shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper engaged in a heated exchange in the House of Commons this morning over the latest delays to the deportation of terrorist suspect Abu Qatada.
The Speaker of the House of Commons was forced to intervene several times to restore order as members of both parties got rather rowdy during the heated exchange.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has said the "confusion" over the appeal time limit for Abu Qatada has turned into a "farce" and criticised the Home Secretary for "partying with X Factor judges" as Qatada's lawyers launched their appeal.
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.She told MPs:
"Despite the progress we have made the process of deporting Qatada is likely to take many months."
The Home Secretary Theresa May says that Abu Qatada has been using delaying tactics to avoid deportation since 2002, and that his appeal to the European Court of Human Rights is another such tactic.
In a statement to the House of Commons Theresa May said:
– Home Secretary Theresa May
The Government is clear that Abu Qatada has no right to refer the case to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, since the three-month deadline to do so lapsed at midnight on Monday.
In the house of commons to hear the Home Secretary announcement on Abu Qatada.
Labour MPs shout "shambles" at Theresa May as she answers Urgent Question insisting deadline WAS midnight on Monday.
The Home Secretary says the government will "resist vigorously" any application for bail from Abu Qatada.