PM defeats immigration amendment despite rebellion

MPs have rejected proposals to ban foreign criminals claiming their right to a family life to avoid deportation. The plans were defeated despite almost 100 MPs, many of them thought to be Tory backbenchers, voting against the government.

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PM 'has great deal of sympathy' for Tory MP's proposal

Downing Street said David Cameron has "a very great deal of sympathy" for the aims of Tory MP Dominic Raab's amendment to the Immigration Bill, but declined to say whether the Government will back it if it comes to a vote.

If passed, Mr Raab's amendment would give agencies the ability to automatically deport foreign criminals, except in the most extreme cases.

Mr Cameron's spokesman told a media briefing: "The Prime Minister has a very great deal of sympathy with the objective of ensuring that we are able to deport people who have been convicted of a criminal offence. That is why the Bill itself takes significant action in this area."

However, he indicated that there were concerns about the "workability" of Mr Raab's proposals, because of the danger that they might be challenged in the courts.


Clegg backs bid to strip UK terror suspects' citizenship

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has backed the Home Secretary's bid to strip British terror suspects of their citizenship.

Speaking during his weekly phone-in on LBC radio, the Lib Dem leader said, "I know it's controversial, but I think it's justifiable in a very, very small number of cases".

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg made the comments on LBC radio. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Mr Clegg said the Government should be able to revoke the citizenship of people who have are not born in Britain and "pose a real, real threat to the security of this country".

Charity: Citizenship-stripping 'an alarming development'

Legal charity Reprieve described the Home Secretary's bid to strip British terror suspects of their passports "a very alarming development".

A spokesman said the move "reverses a long-standing ban on citizenship-stripping where doing so would leave someone stateless".

It would give the Home Secretary the power to tear up people's passports without any need for the kind of due process we might once have expected as British citizens.

The concern is that this is all part of the wider excesses of the US-led 'War on Terror': once someone has been rendered stateless, it becomes much easier to subject them to execution by drone, without the inconvenience of legal consequences.

– Reprieve spokesman

Minister says citizenship 'is a privilege not a right'

Immigration Minister Mark Harper said "citizenship is a privilege, not a right" after the Home Secretary tabled a last-minute change to the Immigration Bill to allow the removal of a UK passport from terror suspects.

Immigration Minister Mark Harper said citizenship 'is a privilege, not a right'. Credit: REUTERS/Steve Parsons/Pool

Mr Harper said: "Those who threaten this country's security put us all at risk. This Government will take all necessary steps to protect the public.

"These proposals will strengthen the Home Secretary's powers to ensure that very dangerous individuals can be excluded if it is in the public interest to do so."


UK terror suspect passport removal plan 'irresponsible'

Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, has said the Home Secretary's plans for British terror suspects to be potentially stripped of their citizenship even if it leaves them stateless are "irresponsible".

Liberty always said that terror suspects should be charged and tried. First politicians avoided trials for foreign nationals; now they seek the same for their own citizens.

This move is as irresponsible as it is unjust. It would allow British Governments to dump dangerous people on the international community, but equally to punish potential innocent political dissenters without charge or trial. There is the edge of populist madness and then the abyss.

UK terror suspects face being stripped of citizenship

The Home Secretary has tabled a last-minute change to the Government's Immigration Bill so British terror suspects can be stripped of their citizenship even if it leaves them stateless.

Theresa May's amendment will allow the removal of a UK passport from any person whose conduct is deemed "seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the UK".

Home Secretary Theresa May Credit: Press Association

The move is seen as an apparent effort to appease Conservative backbenchers calling for tougher measures in the Immigration Bill which returns to the Commons tomorrow.

The Home Secretary already has the power to take away British citizenship from those with dual nationality, however, this change would allow her to make people stateless if they have been naturalised as a British citizen.

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