British state more guilty than Shamima Begum, says David Davis MP

22 February 2023, 18:00 | Updated: 22 February 2023, 18:03

By Hannah Holland

Conservative MP David Davis has claimed that the case of Shamima Begum is a "failure of state" and that British authorities are "more guilty" than the 23-year-old.

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Speaking to Tom Swarbrick, Tory MP David Davis shared his belief that the British state were at fault over the case of Shamima Begum.

Shamima Begum, 23, lost her legal challenge over the decision to deprive her of her British citizenship, which was revoked on national security grounds by then-home secretary Sajid Javid after she was found, nine months pregnant, in a Syrian refugee camp in February 2019.

Mr Davis said: “the people more guilty of misbehaviour in this are our own authorities rather than Shamim Begum."

Clarifying that he was "not fond of the lady", he shared he doesn't agree that she is "guilty of a crime or threat to our safety", adding that it was wrong to deny her the right that "everyone born in Britain should have".

Tom Swarbrick quizzed the MP, asking: “What crimes do you think the British state may have committed?”

Mr Davis stated that the British state had "allowed" a trafficker to "take someone for a brutal purpose" - as a "sex slave to terrorists".

“We’ve allowed that to happen", he continued before explaining that it was a "failure of state" as "British agencies knew about it when it was happening or very shortly thereafter".

Tom probed the MP for Haltemprice and Howden, asking if the supposed 'failure of state' was a “bigger failure than joining a terrorist organisation".

Mr Davis struck back: "Joining? You think joining? Did she sign up to carry bombs for them?"

He added: "She’s a sex slave, that’s what she’s been and we shouldn’t lose sight of that."

"We are such a fragile society that we can’t take somebody back and rehabilitate them?"

Begum was 15 when she travelled from Bethnal Green, east London, through Turkey and into territory controlled by Islamic State (IS) with two other schoolgirls in 2015.

Her British citizenship was revoked on national security grounds shortly after she was found in the refugee camp in Syria.She has been locked in a legal battle with the Government ever since in an attempt to get her citizenship restored.

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