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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 April 2006, 09:18 GMT 10:18 UK
In quotes: Clarke and deportation
Charles Clarke

Home Secretary Charles Clarke has been criticised after almost 300 convicted foreign criminals were not considered for deportation after serving their sentences.

He has explained the situation, including his offer to resign, in the following quotes.

  • "Thousands of people were considered for deportation and deported, but the fact is that we didn't get it fully right".

    "I think we did fail, I failed and we failed generally, the Home Office failed, in relation to both the overall operation of the Prison Service and the operation of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate."

  • "The issue is not people going free, as has been described. They are people who have served their sentences. The dangerous ones are under scrutiny and under supervision. What didn't happen - and should've happened - was they weren't considered for deportation as they should have been."

  • "Getting the various aspects of our operation functioning correctly is something that still remains a problem."

  • "Turning around these large organisations takes time, like tankers at sea."

  • "I told [Tony Blair] I was prepared to resign, if he thought it was right. He said he didn't think it was right."

  • "I certainly feel strong regret."

  • "We do not have services across the Home Office which we can be, and should be, completely proud of in front of the scrutiny of the people of this country. But I do believe also we have highly committed people who are trying to get it right and steps in process to make sure we can be proud of those services."

  • "What I'm saying is the Immigration and Nationality Service hasn't kept track of the people. That's why they haven't known who the people were who should have been considered for deportation. They're going through each one of those thousand to establish exactly where they were and what the situation is."

  • "I'm not trying to suggest this isn't a very serious problem. It is a very serious problem. And it's a problem as a result of the systemic failures that I've described."




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