Revealed: Legal challenges from ‘activist’ lawyers could mean Jamaica-bound flight scheduled for 100 foreign criminals is reduced down to ZERO
Legal claims by ‘activist’ lawyers could leave a flight scheduled to take 100 foreign criminals and immigration offenders to Jamaica without any passengers next week, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Rapists, paedophiles, drug traffickers and gunmen are all understood to have been set to be removed from Britain to their native country on Wednesday’s charter plane to Kingston.
But Home Office officials have ‘real worries’ that claims brought by lawyers on behalf of the offenders mean every single person will be removed from the flight.
It is understood that out of an original number of more than 100, fewer than ten are left on the list to be removed. And it is feared further legal claims could mean not a single offender is flown out.
Rapists, paedophiles, drug traffickers and gunmen are all understood to have been set to be removed from Britain to their native country on Wednesday’s charter plane to Kingston. A file photo is used above
The last four flights of this type to Jamaica have taken just 17, 13, seven and four passengers.
A number of the legal challenges are thought to include claims of modern slavery, which have more than doubled between 2017 and last year to 12,727 cases. Others are appeals on asylum claims, further representations and judicial reviews, it is understood.
A Home Office source said some of the foreign national offenders had committed the most appalling crimes, adding: ‘Unfortunately, many will lodge baseless legal challenges or present other barriers to frustrate their removals.’
Foreign criminals are hit with automatic deportation orders if they have served more than 12 months in jail for offences.
But there are now more than 11,000 criminals who are subject to deportation after release from prison but have not been removed.
The number of those deported fell to fewer than 3,000 last year, less than half the peak hit in 2016.
And refugee charities and lawyers have lined up to challenge the Government’s new policy of sending illegal migrants to Rwanda where they will claim asylum. Alp Mehmet, chair of the Migration Watch think- tank, said: ‘The vast majority of people in the country are with the Government on this one. Finding loopholes and exploiting gaps is not what people in this country want.’
But critics have argued that many of those due to be deported to Jamaica next week arrived in Britain as youngsters.
Last night, a Home Office spokeswoman said: ‘We make no apology for seeking to remove foreign criminals and return those with no right to stay here.’