Tory MPs shouted ‘disgrace’ as the PM demanded Imran Hussain withdraw the ‘shameful’ remark at PMQs – the MP had said a new Bill could see him stripped of citizenship
An MP sparked a furious PMQs row over deportations after asking Boris Johnson : “When is he coming for me?”.
Tory MPs shouted “disgrace” when Labour’s Imran Hussain said the Nationality and Borders Bill could see him and other black and minority ethnic Brits stripped of their citizenship.
It comes hours after Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights warned the Bill is “littered” with measures which are “incompatible” with human rights law.
It also also allows asylum seekers to be processed offshore and proposes a two-tier system in which refugees who cross the Channel in small boats would have fewer rights to apply for sanctuary.
Yet Boris Johnson hit back angrily at the Bradford East MP, saying his comment was “absolutely shameful” and “he should withdraw it”.
Mr Hussain pressed the Prime Minister at PMQs on the Bill, which will enter its final Commons stages in the coming months.
He said: “My grandfather along with thousands of others came to this country 70 years ago working seven days a week in squalid conditions to help rebuild this country.
“Yet now the Home Secretary’s Nationality and Borders Bill means she can revoke our British citizenship and deport us for even the most minor wrongdoings.
“Given the Government and the Home Office’s horrific track record with the treatment of minorities, the hostile environment and the Windrush scandals, let me ask the Prime Minister the burning question that is now on the lips of everyone from a BAME background right across the country.
“When is he coming for me?”
Amid angry shouts from Tory MPs, the Prime Minister said Mr Hussain should “look at the Conservative frontbench today” and “withdraw what he just said”.
He added: “He should withdraw it, what he said is absolutely shameful and, as he knows full well, the Borders Bill does nothing of the kind.
“It helps us to fight the evil gangs who are predating on people’s willingness to cross the Channel in un-seaworthy boats.
“And I would have thought a sensible Labour Party would support it.”
Despite Mr Johnson’s comments, the Bill does propose powers to strip individuals of their British citizenship without notice.
The power to strip citizenship – used for example against Shamima Begum – already exists, but the Bill would allow it to happen without notice in some cases.
The Home Secretary could give no notice if, for example, she does “not have the information needed” to give notice, it “would not be reasonable practicable for any other reason”, or there are national security reasons.
Frances Webber, the vice-chair of the Institute of Race Relations, told the Guardian: “This amendment sends the message that certain citizens, despite being born and brought up in the UK and having no other home, remain migrants in this country.”
Maya Foa, the director of Reprieve, added: “This clause would give Priti Patel unprecedented power to remove your citizenship in secret, without even having to tell you, and effectively deny you an appeal. Under this regime, a person accused of speeding would be afforded more rights than someone at risk of being deprived of their British nationality.”
The Home Office said previously: “British citizenship is a privilege, not a right.
“Deprivation of citizenship on conducive grounds is rightly reserved for those who pose a threat to the UK or whose conduct involves very high harm.
“The nationality and borders bill will amend the law so citizenship can be deprived where it is not practicable to give notice, for example if there is no way of communicating with the person.”