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Several foreign thugs went on to re-commit crimes after Sir Keir Starmer campaigned for them to stay in a controversial cancelled deportation flight in 2020. Shortly before he took over as Labour leader, Sir Keir signed a letter which called 50 Jamaicans not to be deported.
The former Crown Prosecution Service boss demanded “all future charter flights must be suspended” in response to the move to deport the group.
The deportation flight of 50 people was cancelled after the Court of Appeal found they had insufficient access to legal advice due to a lack of working mobile sim cards while they were kept in immigration detention.
The plane was carrying people who were brought to the country when they were younger and since committed a criminal offence. Sir Keir was among several Labour MPs who signed a letter calling for the flight to be delayed.
Others who joined the campaign against the deportations were supermodel Naomi Campbell, Line of Duty actress Thandiwe Newton and soul singer Beverley Knight. Campaigners pointed to the lack of legal support for those who were to be deported, and the fact that they had lived in the UK for most of their lives.
Among those who were due to be deported were seven who have since gone on to commit further violent or drug-related crimes, an investigation by the Sun claims.
Killer Ernesto Elliott was amongst the group, and later murdered a man in a knife fight in June 2021. He was jailed for 26 years after being found guilty of murder and robbery along with his son Nico Elliott.
Those who were allowed to stay also included heroin dealer Akiva Heaven, who had served four years in jail before being released in 2018. In May 2021, just over a year after his delayed deportation flight, he was jailed again for dealing cocaine and heroin in Southsea, Hants.
Similarly Barrington Laing, who was jailed for four years and four months for county lines dealing just seven months before the cancelled flight, went on to re-offend.
Last November, he was sent to prison for six months for carrying a knife.
Labour said it is not the party’s policy to block deportations, adding: “These cases are a catalogue of Tory failure.”
A spokesman added that the letter signed by Sir Keir made no difference when “the Tories have left the department responsible for our national security unable to deal with violent and serious criminals”.
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Sir Keir has recently positioned himself as tough on crime – repeating Gordon Brown’s slogan on the matter that he would be “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime.”
Labour is set to lay out its intentions for the police and justice system closer to the May local elections.
On Twitter, the opposition leader highlighted his background from when he was Director of Public Prosecutions and said he would “deliver 3,000 extra neighbourhood police and PCSOs.”
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