Tobias Ellwood: ‘Simply wrong’ to wash hands of Shamima Begum

Friday, July 17, 2020

Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood has defended the decision to allow Shamima Begum entry to the UK, saying the removal of her citizenship should not have happened in the first place.

Speaking with talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, the Defence Select Committee chairman said: “This idea that somehow we can wash our hands and even make people stateless is simply wrong.

“This person was radicalised here in the UK so we need to recognise the wider picture that if we are going to defeat terrorism, if we are going to step up and defend our values and our rights and support Iraq and Syria, we need to complete the job, because these people are regrouping as we speak.”

Ms Begum, now 20, left the UK for Syria in 2015 to join Islamic State. She was found in a Syrian refugee camp in February last year and had her UK passport revoked by then Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

She has since launched an appeal against the stripping of her citizenship and was yesterday granted the right to return to British soil to pursue that legal challenge.

Downing Street has said the government is “bitterly disappointed” by the Court of Appeal’s ruling.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The government’s priority is maintaining our national security, and decisions to deprive individuals of their citizenship are not taken lightly.

“We will always ensure the safety and security of the UK and will not allow anything to jeopardise this.”

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