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Lee Anderson has told Express.co.uk that the idea of the Labour party being in charge of justice “sends a chill down his spine” after revelations that Sir Keir Starmer’s new shadow Justice Secretary led the push to stop foreign murders, rapists and child sex offenders being deported.
The Tory deputy chairman, who was a member of the Labour Party until 2018, has lashed out at the appointment on social media in a frantic day for Starmer as he reshuffled his top team.
Sabana Mahmood, 42, is the MP for Birmingham Ladywood and a barrister who is known to be a close ally of of Sir Keir’s.
But she has also been described as one of the ringleaders in February 2020 when dozens of Labour MPs and peers signed a letter opposing the deportation of foreign criminals to Jamaica including murderers, rapists and child sex offenders.
As a result of legal interventions and political pressure, 17 of the 56 Jamaican criminals were deported on that flight although the government succeeded in deporting others later that year.
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Mr Anderson his disgust at the appointment of Ms Mahmood on social media.
He said: “Wow….Remember the letter signed by dozens of Labour MPs that helped stop a flight full of rapists, murderers, child sex offenders and violent men going to Jamaica?
“I thought you may. You might also recall that one of the men who was on that flight went on to murder in the UK. Well it looks like one of the ringleaders has now been made Shadow Justice Secretary. This is very scary.”
Later he told Express.co.uk: “The very thought of Labour being responsible for our justice system should send chills down the spine of every decent law abiding British citizen.”
Ms Mahmood wrote a note sent to her constituents after the successful attempt at blocking many of the deportations.
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She noted that the Court of Appeal ruled that 25 detainees could not be deported from detention centres near Heathrow because of concerns that they had not had their legal right to access to lawyers.
She went on: “I spoke out about this issue this week and called on ministers to postpone the deportations until the independent Windrush Lessons Report had been published.
“Ministers know that the report will say that people in similar circumstances to the “Jamaica 50” shouldn’t be deported and they should have the courage to admit it.
“I was contacted by a constituent’s family, who was due to be on the flight, and spoke about his case on the Victoria Derbyshire programme this week.
“My constituent had served in the British Army, had been deployed on two tours of duty to Afghanistan after which he suffered from PTSD and was diagnosed as bipolar.
“He received no help and support for his failing mental health, and soon afterwards was convicted of committing GBH. We cannot simply wash our hands of people who have lived in this country for most of their lives, and who are to all intents and purposes British citizens, and certainly not those who have developed mental health illness after serving our country in the Armed Forces.
“It’s clear that the government has not learnt any lessons from the Windrush scandal, and should wait until the independent review is published before they even consider any more deportation flights such as this.”
Express.co.uk has contacted the Labour Party and Sabana Mahmood for comment.
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