Deportation flight: Eddie Mair ties caller in knots over the government's decision

10 February 2020, 17:18

Eddie Mair ties this caller in knots over the government's decision to deport offenders to Jamaica tomorrow.

After a lawyer called in to question the humanity of the government, David from Battersea questioned the humanity of the 50 offenders that are due to board the flight tomorrow.

"They're only in this position because they've committed very serious crimes," he said, quoting the collective sentencing time for the deportees is 300 years, "we're not talking about first time offenders, we're not talking about people that have got caught for possession of cannabis."

Eddie cited a case of a man who came to the UK aged five and was convicted of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply aged 17 - should he be deported?

David said, "Forgive me, if you're going to be convicted of possession with intent to supply of a Class A drug that's not an insignificant crime... face the consequences."

Eddie questioned the seriousness of this crime and David supposed "in the real world it's a crime of a lesser nature."

"He's de facto British if he's lived here since five years old," pointed out Eddie, to which David conceded, "so why put him on a plane tomorrow?"

Rishi Sunak, the chief secretary to the Treasury, said: ‘All due process will have been followed.’
Rishi Sunak, the chief secretary to the Treasury, said: ‘All due process will have been followed.’. Picture: PA

"Well then he's one of the cases that should be looked at," said David.

Eddie said that this was the exact discussion people are having today: "After Windrush and all of that scandal, 164 people were wrongly deported in the last year. So why don't we wait for the report the government itself has commissioned, learn the lessons, stop making mistakes, deport the right people and keep the ones here who shouldn't?"

David agreed there was nothing wrong with waiting "but we don't live in Utopia and that's not how things work."

He continued that while they were children when they came here, some of these deportees are not children anymore and committed offences as adults.

"They came here as children and you agreed it's wrong to deport this guy who's been convicted of a drug offence," said Eddie, "I put one case to you and you rethought your position. I'm suggesting we take the work of Wendy Williams and all the people she's spoken to and then read the report and come up with a more sensible policy. What do you think?"

David said, "Yes I think there's obviously a logic to that and some of the cases should be looked at again."