24 Oct 2016, 23 mins ago

The eight-year legal battle to deport Abu Qatada finally ended last week when the radical Palestinian-Jordanian cleric accused of terror connections left the UK to return to Jordan on Sunday morning.

However, the costly fight was only concluded following the signing of a treaty between the UK and Jordan. The terror suspect has now been charged by military prosecutors with conspiracy to carry out terrorist acts between 1998 and 2000. The ‘Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between Jordan and the United Kingdom’ means that evidence obtained through torture cannot be used against Abu Qatada in Jordan. 

It has been frustrating for both UK taxpayers, who have footed a bill in excess of £1.7 million since the cleric’s fight began in 2005, and the Home Secretary, who has voiced her anger over current human rights laws that make it extremely difficult to remove dangerous foreign nationals from the UK. 

In addition to making clear her views that the Human Rights Act must be scrapped, Mrs May believes that the UK’s relationship with the European Court of Human Rights should be reconsidered to prevent the long drawn-out deportation process from happening. 

Article 8 ECHR sets out the right to respect for private and family life, which has been relied upon to justify granting foreign criminals the right to remain in the UK. The Home Secretary wants to reform the current law to “remove the many layers of appeals available to foreign nationals we want to deport”. It is expected that the 2015 Conservative election manifesto will contain clear plans on whether or not the UK government will seek a withdrawal from the European Convention altogether.