Former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott has criticised the Home Office for preparing another charter flight to deport foreign criminals back to Jamaica, despite some offenders having resided in Britain since they were children.
A flight to Kingston is scheduled for August 11, with several dozen criminals booked in to be returned to the island nation after criminal convictions including rape, murder and drug offences triggered deportation orders.
Taking to Twitter, Ms Abbott said she was “shocked” to learn of the plans for another mass deportation of foreign nationals who have “lived in the UK for over 20 years”, calling the policy “wrong”.
“Despite government claims, most of those scheduled for deportation have only minor, non-violent offences on their record,” Abbott claimed. “The Home Office must cancel these flights and end the Hostile Environment.”
Abbott subsequently retweeted the Movement for Justice campaign which advocates an end to deportations, which praised efforts by left-wing lawyers who have managed to prevent five criminals from leaving on the scheduled flight on Wednesday.
Diane Abbott was shadow home secretary during Jeremy Corbyn’s reign as Labour leader and would have been in charge of deportation orders had Labour won the 2019 general election.
The first charter flight back to Jamaica took place late last year, with Priti Patel refusing to be apologetic for removing foreign offenders from Britain.
“The British public rightly expect foreign national offenders to be removed from our country. These people have violated our laws and values, and I am unapologetic in my determination to remove these convicted foreign rapists, murderers, and child sex offenders from our country,” Patel said at the time.
Commenting on the latest scheduled charter flight, a Home Office spokesperson said: “People who come to this country and commit crimes should be expected to be removed. That is why we regularly operate charter flights to different countries – to remove foreign offenders, and those who have no right to be in the country but refused or failed to leave voluntarily.”