Defiant Priti Patel vows to deport 23 criminals who were let off planes at last moment ‘as soon as possible’


A DEFIANT Priti Patel has vowed to deport 23 criminals who were let off planes at the last moment thanks to eleventh hour legal challenges “as soon as possible”.

The Home Secretary lashed out at celebs and “ill-informed” Labour MPs who campaigned to keep offenders, including a murderer and rapists, in the country.

Priti Patel has vowed to deport 23 criminals let off plans “as soon as possible”
Model Naomi Campbell was among 82 public figures who signed an open letter demanding the flight did not take off

She was joined by Thandie Newton who said the flight risked further unlawful removals of Windrush generation members

Sources close to the Home Secretary told the MailOnline that Ms Patel wants to try again to deport the Jamaican criminals, who were set to be flown out on Wednesday, “as soon as possible”.

Ms Patel said it was “deeply offensive” to liken those unfairly caught up in the Windrush scandal to killers and rapists trying to stay in Britain.

Lawyers successfully filed last-minute legal challenge to block the offenders boarding the deportation flight back to Jamaica.

More than 60 MPs, mostly from the Labour Party, had urged M Patel to abandon the flight, saying of those being deported: “Britain is their home.”

And Labour backbencher Kim Johnson described the deportation as “obscene and irresponsible”.

And a group of 82 celebrities including Naomi Campbell, Line of Duty star Thandie Newton and Bond actress Naomie Harris signed an open letter demanding the flight did not take off.

Their letter said many of the people onboard had lived in the UK since they were kids and could be descendants of the Windrush generation.

They also said they may have been forced to commit crimes while being trafficked.

The combined sentences of the 23 offenders totalled up to 156 years, and one who was served a life sentence.

Two people were convicted of attempted murder, multiple were found guilty of rape, and others of supplying class A drugs, stealing vehicles and possessing firearms.

The letter from celebs said: “Until justice has been delivered for all Commonwealth Windrush victims, any deportations to Commonwealth countries risk further unlawful removals of Windrush generation members or Windrush descendants who may have the right to remain in the UK but do not yet have the required paperwork.”

But Miss Patel slammed their likening to Windrush, telling the Daily Mail: “The Windrush scandal is a stain on our country’s history.

“That generation made an enormous contribution to our country and were wronged by successive governments.

“To see ill-informed Labour politicians and do-gooding celebrities attempting to conflate the victims of Windrush with these vile criminals set for deportation is not only misjudged and upsetting but deeply offensive.”

Under the Windrush scandal, which broke in 2018, Caribbean migrants living legally in Britain were wrongly targeted by the Home Office for removal.

The Home Secretary said: “This Government will never stand in solidarity with rapists and murderers and we remain committed to removing these foreign criminals from our country.

“They have violated our laws and have no right to be here.”

36 Jamaican criminals were notified five days before the flight that they would be deported and at that stage none had outstanding legal barriers to removal.

A large proportion submitted legal challenges, with new claims including human rights appeals and allegations that the criminals had been victims of modern slavery.

The flight took off for Jamaica with 13 of the criminals on board, including three killers, a paedophile and four drug dealers.

Sources at the Home Office said no flight was scheduled yet for those who escaped deportation, but officials were working hard to get through all of the cases.

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