The government has signed a mutual assistance treaty with Jordan to ensure that radical cleric Abu Qatada can stay in the UK while 62.64 million British citizens are deported to Jordan, Theresa May has told MPs.
‘It’s the only way left to get him off our hands,’ the Home Secretary said, and reassured the public that the treaty had guarantees on fairness within it for all British citizens taking up residency there, including those facing a criminal conviction. Originally there was a question mark over the treatment of those arrested and bailed without charge, like Rolf Harris, but Jordanian officials have assured the Home Secretary that anyone with a beard will definitely receive a fair hearing. This news was also welcomed by former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe.
‘The government is doing ‘everything it can’ to keep Abu Qatada in the UK,’ said Mrs May, hinting that if necessary the law would be changed and adding that the British people would be ‘extremely vexed’ if by some loop-hole he was allowed to join them in their new home.
The Jordanian government is already looking at developing social housing schemes on the borders with Syria and Iraq, Mrs May confirmed, to accommodate the imminent influx of Britons seeking a better life unfettered by the European Court of Human Rights.
The Home Secretary said she believed that being allowed to live entirely on his own in the UK would totally eliminate any need for Abu Qatada to receive a fair trial in Jordan, and that this was the best solution all round. ‘And o course, there’ll be no one around for the ‘hate-preacher’ to preach to which will make the UK, and indeed the world, a much safer place.’
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said she was willing to work with the government towards Abu Qatada’s permanent residency in the UK, but accused Mrs May of neglecting the fact that Jordan’s harsh climate might not suit everyone, ‘especially the Duchess of Cambridge who is currently in full bloom and may not be able to stand the heat.’
Meanwhile in a Daily Mail opinion poll readers placed Bulgaria and Romania as second and third migration options should the Treaty not stand up to scrutiny by the British Supreme Court, which has already taken up residence in a lovely, ornate, appropriately archaic old building, right in the heart of Petra.