Jeremy Corbyn has today claimed that jihadi bride Shamima Begum should be allowed back into Britain and given the ‘support that she needs’.
The Labour leader said that the teenager, who gave birth to a baby boy in a refugee camp on Sunday, had ‘a right to return’ after fleeing the country to support IS.
He also said the decision by the Home Secretary Sajid Javid to strip the 19-year-old of her British citizenship was an ‘extreme manoeuvre’.
The runaway schoolgirl, who fled the UK in 2015 along with two classmates, said she was ‘shocked’ when she was told of Mr Javid’s decision yesterday.
Meanwhile Mr Corbyn, who is currently in Brussels to meet with EU leaders, said he was uncomfortable with the Home Secretary having ‘these powers’.
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Jeremy Corbyn (left) has today claimed that IS bride Shamima Begum (right) should be allowed back into Britain and given the ‘support that she needs’
The letter obtained by ITV News asks Begum’s family to inform her of the decision to revoke her citizenship and her right to appeal it
‘She was born in Britain, she has that right to remain in Britain and obviously a lot of questions she has to answer but also some support that she needs,’ he told ITV.
‘She obviously has, in my view, a right to return to Britain. On that return she must face a lot of questions about everything she’s done. And at that point any action may or may not be taken.
‘I think the idea of stripping somebody of their citizenship when they were born in Britain is a very extreme manoeuvre.
‘Indeed I question the right of the home secretary to have these powers when the original law was brought in by Theresa May when she was home secretary.’
Mr Javid had previously admitted that Begum’s baby son Jerah – apparently named after a 7th century Islamic warlord – could still be British.
Meanwhile, shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said the Government ‘could not subvert the rule of law’ just because it is ‘not convenient’.
She told BBC Radio 4’s World At One: ‘You cannot strip people of their British nationality under international law if it will leave them stateless.
‘That’s the legal position and we are a country of laws.’
The Labour leader said that the teenager, who gave birth to a baby boy in a refugee camp on Sunday, had ‘a right to return’ after fleeing the country to support IS
The remorseless 19-year-old, pictured here in an interview, is hanging her hopes on her captured husband Yago Riedijk being sent back to the Netherlands
Shamima Begum and her friend fled to Syria by flying to Istanbul and getting a bus across Turkey to the Islamic State’s capital, Raqqa. She moved to Mayadin with her jihadi husband Yago Riedijk but fled Baghuz when he was captured and is now in al-Hawl
The Home Office believes that because Begum’s mother was born in Bangladesh her daughter is entitled to dual citizenship meaning she would not be left stateless if she was stripped of British nationality, which is illegal under international law.
But the chances of the 19-year-old returning to Britain may have increased after the Bangladeshi ministry of foreign affairs accused Sajid Javid of ‘erroneously identifying’ Begum as a dual citizen – and insisted she will not be allowed into the country.
After learning her fate ‘shocked’ Begum initially said she would seek citizenship in Holland – where her jihadi husband Yago Riedijk is from.
But the Dutch Government today also appeared to slam the door, telling the Sun Online Begum does not have the residence permit required to live there.
The Netherlands also does not offer its help to returning Dutch jihadis, and can also strip its own nationals of their citizenship if they are deemed a national security threat.
Shahrial Alam, state minister of foreign affairs in Bangladesh, said today that there is ‘no question’ of her being allowed into Bangladesh and that she is not a citizen of the country.
A person can only be stripped of their citizenship should they have dual nationality – as ministers cannot take it away if it would leave a suspect stateless.
Shamima Begum, 19 (pictured before she left the country four years ago) is pleading with the government to allow her back into Britain
Only last week Britain’s MI6 chief said that UK nationals, even those who are members of terror organisations like ISIS, have a legal right to return home.
Government guidance from 2017 states that the Home Secretary has the power to order the deprivation if it would be ‘conducive to the public good’, as long as they are not left without any citizenship.
A Home Office spokesman said he could not discuss individual cases, but added: ‘We don’t leave people stateless.’
How Britain can strip citizenship from its enemies – as long as they are not ‘stateless’
Shamima Begum, who fled the UK to join the Islamic State terror group in Syria aged 15, has been stripped of her British citizenship.
International law forbids nations from making people stateless by revoking their only citizenship.
Britain appears to believe that Ms Begum, who is of Bangladeshi heritage, holds dual citizenship.
Under the 1981 British Nationality Act, any Briton can be deprived of their citizenship if it is ‘conducive to the public good’ – and they do not become stateless as a result.
A 2017 government report on the issue said the Home Secretary has the power to ‘deprive a person of British citizenship’ if it would be ‘conducive to the public good’.
However, this only applies if the person would not be left stateless.
If it is the case Ms Begum is a dual national, she could have her British citizenship stripped.
Those who are outside of the UK have 28 days to lodge an appeal from the time they receive their Home Office letter.
Mr Javid on Monday told the House of Commons: ‘The powers available to me include banning non-British people from this country and stripping dangerous dual nationals of their British citizenship.’
Over 100 people have already been deprived in this way.
What will happen to Begum’s new born son, however, remains unclear.
He was born before his mother was deprived of citizenship – meaning he is still legally British.
And while theoretically he could also have his citizenship revoked, the government would need to show he himself posed a threat.
Begum’s first two children both died of unknown illnesses under ISIS.
Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Sir Ed Davey accused Mr Javid of ‘an abdication of responsibility’ by ‘palming off’ Begum on to another country.
‘The UK has more than enough terrorism laws to prosecute Shamima Begum here,’ he said.
Meanwhile Conservative chair of the Commons Education Committee, Robert Halfon, who had spoken out against allowing Begum to return, said in a tweet that Mr Javid had made ‘absolutely the right decision’.
The move comes after Begum returned to the public eye when she was found heavily pregnant living in a refugee camp in northern Syria.
She gave birth to a boy over the weekend, having already lost two children, and made pleas for forgiveness and to be accepted back in the UK.
Earlier on Tuesday, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said the 19-year-old could expect to be ‘spoken to’ if she comes back to Britain.
The initial police stance when Ms Begum left the UK in 2015 was that she may be treated as a victim of grooming, but the Scotland Yard chief said: ‘We’re a long way down the road since then.’
Begum’s baby son Jerah is entitled to British citizenship – but could try to argue he is Dutch because of the nationality of its jihadi father Yago Riedijk. She may even try to get Dutch citizenship off the back of it
She added: ‘If she does, under whatever circumstances, arrive at our borders, somebody in her type of circumstances could expect, of course, to be spoken to and, if there is the appropriate necessity, to be potentially arrested and certainly investigated.
Removing schoolgirl’s citizenship ‘could be exploited by radicals’
Radical Islamists could exploit unease caused by the decision to strip Shamima Begum of her British citizenship, the Government’s chief adviser on countering extremism has warned.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid made the move after the teenager, who fled London aged 15 to join the so-called Islamic State caliphate in Syria, said she wanted to return to the UK with her newborn son.
Independent adviser Sara Khan cautioned on Thursday that the Government must acknowledge the anxiety caused by the decision, with extremists being eager to ‘exploit alienation and grievance’.
‘While it is for courts to test the legality of decisions such as deprivation of citizenship, we have to also ask how measures such as this impact wider work on countering extremism,’ she said.
‘The Government has to recognise the unease felt by a wide range of people about decisions of this kind, not least those from minority communities with dual nationality.
‘It has to build trust in its approach, because Islamist extremists will exploit alienation and grievance to turn people against their country.’
‘If that results in sufficient evidence for a prosecution then it will result in sufficient evidence for a prosecution.
‘The officers will deal with whatever they are confronted with.’
On Monday in an interview with the BBC Ms Begum compared the Manchester Arena bombing to military strikes on Isis strongholds, calling the terror attack ‘retaliation’.
There are currently plans to change the law to make travelling to certain terror hotspots a criminal offence, but this would not apply retrospectively to Ms Begum.
Around 425 suspected jihadi fighters are thought to have returned to the UK from Syria so far.
Before today’s decision, the Home Secretary had already hinted that he would block Begum from returning to the UK.
Earlier this week Mr Javid told MPs that no British troops would be used to rescue any Britons who travelled to Syria to support terrorism.
He said more than 900 people went to Syria or Iraq, adding: ‘Whatever role they took in the so-called caliphate, they all supported a terrorist organisation and in doing so they have shown they hate our country and the values we stand for.’
He went on: ‘Now this so-called caliphate is crumbling, some of them want to return and I have been very clear where I can and where any threat remains I will not hesitate to prevent this.
‘The powers available to me include banning non-British people from this country and stripping dangerous dual nationals of their British citizenship.’
This is the moment ISIS bride Shamima Begum, pictured holding her baby son, learned that Sajid Javid has moved to revoke her British citizenship to stop her getting back to the UK