Page last updated at 15:06 GMT, Wednesday, 20 October 2010 16:06 UK

Death of deportee Jimmy Mubenga 'regrettable'

The death of an Angolan man who was being deported from the UK was "extraordinarily regrettable", security minister Baroness Neville-Jones has said.

Three civilian security guards were arrested this week over the death of Jimmy Mubenga, 46, who collapsed on a plane at Heathrow Airport.

Labour's Lord Judd said at question time on 20 October 2010: "This issue is not only grave in itself, the trouble is that when something goes wrong it plays directly into the hands of those who are trying to manipulate opinion in support of militant rebels, militant terrorists and the rest.

"It is therefore essential to get the administration of policy in this area right and humane in the cause of winning hearts and minds."

Security minister Baroness Neville-Jones agreed with Lord Judd and said that the findings of any investigations into Mr Mubenga's death would be taken "very seriously".

She said: "This is the first time there has been a death of an escorted individual. It is extraordinarily regrettable and we entirely take the point that this is exactly what we do not wish to have happen."

Lady Neville-Jones told peers: "The circumstances of Mr Mubenga's death are the subject of police investigation. The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman investigation and the coroner's inquest will also take place in due course.

"Escort staff receive training on issues such as welfare, first aid, use of force and restraint. Prior to removal, escorts are provided with a risk assessment for the individual that will include known facts on medical condition, the risk of self-harm, likelihood of any attempt to escape, known criminal activities or violent behaviour."

Other questions focused on tax avoidance, cross-border crime between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancún.


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