Jeremy Corbyn: Would PM expel foreign criminals if they were white?

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn came to blows during PMQs this afternoon in a row over race, deportation and Windrush 

It was after the Home Office deported around 20 foreign national offenders, who had served a prison sentence of more than one year, to Jamaica on Tuesday.

The government has defended the move as "reasonable" for "very serious offenders" but the Labour leader today questioned whether the same rules would apply if the deportees were white.

He said: “This cruel and callous government is trying to mislead the British people into thinking it’s solely deporting foreign nationals who are guilty of murder, rape and other very serious offences – this is clearly not the case.

“Take the example of a young black boy who came to the UK aged five and is now being deported after serving time for a drugs offence.”

Mr Corbyn went on to make what appeared to be a personal dig at the Prime Minister, who was born in New York.

“If there was a case of a young white boy with blonde hair, who later dabbled in Class A drugs and conspired with a friend to beat up a journalist, would he deport that boy?

"Or is it one rule for young black boys from the Caribbean and another for white boys from the United States?”

The question was met with fury from the Conservative benches.

Mr Johnson fired back that the opposition leader had “demeaned himself” and “besmirched” the reputation of the Windrush generation.

“[The Windrush generation] came to this country to work in our public services, to teach our children in this country, to make lives better for the people of this country – he has no right to conflate them with those foreign national offenders that we are deporting today.”

Mr Corbyn said the government had “learnt absolutely nothing from the Windrush scandal” and said those affected by it had been “disgracefully treated by a government that deliberately created a hostile environment”.

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