Cooper on Qatada release

As Abu Qatada is released from prison on bail, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has responded, arguing that the government could and should have done more to avoid his release:

“It is clear the Government has not done all it can to stop Abu Qatada being released from high-security prison today.

“As soon as the European Court judgement was delivered a month ago now the Government could have appealed the decision and begun urgent negotiations with the Jordanian Government. Instead the Government did nothing, leaving a judge to decide there was little progress being made in deporting Qatada and that bail was the only option. And still the Government have failed to appeal, while activity with the Jordanians seems restricted to belated calls from the PM and a trip to Jordan for James Brokenshire.

“We are also seriously concerned that should Qatada’s bail conditions be relaxed, within weeks he could be free to do the school run he has been banned from today. The Government’s scrapping of Control Orders means that even were Qatada to be given a new TPIM, he would be free to move around during the day, even using the internet and a mobile phone.”

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