Bishop of Southwark questions Government policy of deporting foreign national offenders with longstanding roots in UK

On 10th February 2020 Home Office Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford, repeated a Government statement made in the House of Commons on planned deportation flights to Jamaica. The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a follow up question:

Baroness Williams of Trafford: My Lords, all those who will be on the charter flight are foreign national offenders convicted of serious offences. They have had their cases fully reviewed to ensure that no outstanding legal barriers would prevent their removal from the UK. Careful assessment is made of the Article 8 claim of a foreign national offender who is subject to deportation to a family and/or private life, including the length of time that they have lived in the UK, which is an important consideration, but not the only one when weighed against their offending.


Will the Minister tell us specifically whether reports are true that those facing deportation tomorrow include the vulnerable and those with medical conditions, such as a former UK soldier who was medically discharged and a blind man who has been told that his elderly grandmother can take care of him? Reports from those who have tried to legally represent these people claim that there are potential victims of human trafficking among the 50. Can the House be reassured that victims of human trafficking are not among them? What assessment has been made of those with disabilities and medical conditions, who are vulnerable, of their fitness to fly and whether they should be deported? Should there not be a proper assessment before they are deported tomorrow?

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