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Taxpayers handed £1.9million bill for ‘phantom’ deportation flights that asylum seekers never boarded in Theresa May’s last year as Home Secretary

  • The bill was the highest for three years and up nearly a fifth on 2014-2015 
  • Officials booked seats before legal bids were launched against deportation
  • Shocking figure suggests little improvement at Home Office despite May’s decision to scrap UK Borders Agency
  • Tory MP Peter Bone tells MailOnline solution is to scrap Human Rights Act 

The Government blew £1.9million on flights to deport failed asylum seekers that were cancelled during Theresa May’s last year in charge at the Home Office.

The bill was the highest for three years – and up nearly a fifth on 2014-15.

The shocking figure suggests there has been little improvement at Mrs May’s department of six years despite her decision to scrap the old UK Border Agency.

Officials booked seats before legal challenges were launched against deportation – meaning they had to be abandoned.

The government blew £1.9million on flights to deport failed asylum seekers that were cancelled during Theresa May's last year in charge at the Home Office

Tory MP Philip Bone told MailOnline that scrapping the Human Rights Act and replacing it with a British Bill of Rights would allow ministers to crack down on ‘bogus legal challenges’ from asylum seekers.

The latest Home Office accounts state: ‘A constructive loss of £1.9 million was incurred by the Home Office as a result of the cancellations of scheduled flights intended to remove ineligible asylum seekers, due to them being granted the right to appeal.’

The previous year the figure was £1.58million, and in 2013-14 it was £1.744million. The system for returning failed asylum seekers has repeatedly come under heavy criticism.

Tory MP Philip Bone (pictured) told MailOnline that scrapping the Human Rights Act would allow ministers to crack down on 'bogus legal challenges' from asylum seekers
Tory MP Philip Bone (pictured) told MailOnline that scrapping the Human Rights Act would allow ministers to crack down on ‘bogus legal challenges’ from asylum seekers

During 2015-16 the Home Office paid out £21.9million over 3,543 legal claims.

The hits included legal costs of £17.1 million from 3,447 cases, 50 compensation payments totalling £900,000 and £2.2million for 28 cases of unlawful detention.

The overturning of a decision to exclude two people from the UK left the taxpayer with a £320,000 legal bill.

Loss of a case where a spouse had been denied access to the UK meant an ‘interim’ legal bill of £420,000.

Mr Bone said the delays were being caused by asylum seekers and lawyers exploiting the Human Rights Act to launch lengthy legal challenges.

‘The problem we have is the system allows so many appeals and last minute appeals, which are clearly done to make it more difficult for the Government and it’s costing taxpayers money,’ he said.

‘Really the best way to overcome this is to make it clear that you are not going to be allowed to stay because of some bogus legal challenge and I suppose the way to do that is to have our own bill of rights, which is what we want.

‘At the moment, the only people getting rich out of this are the airlines and the lawyers.’

He added: ‘If we could have clarity in our own Bill of Rights, it would stop a lot of this stuff.

‘It’s the sort of thing that drives my constituents in the Dog and Duck absolutely mad – that £2million of taxpayers’ money is being spent on flights that don’t happen.

‘Let’s face it, if people put in appeals early enough, the Home Office wouldn’t do this. We have to look at the deadlines for putting these appeals in and that may be one of the answers.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3712393/Taxpayers-handed-1-9million-bill-phantom-deportation-flights-asylum-seekers-never-boarded-Theresa-s-year-Home-Secretary.html

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2 Comments on "Taxpayers handed £1.9million bill for ‘phantom’ deportation flights that asylum seekers never boarded in Theresa May’s last year as Home Secretary"

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George
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God help this country with her as Prime Minister. She was an utter failure as Home Secretary so what chance does she have of making a better job of the new position.

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