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Volume 588: debated on Monday 17 November 2014

Changes to the appeals and removals system introduced under the Immigration Act 2014 have reduced the number of immigration decisions that can be appealed from 17 to four. New appeal provisions now allow us to deport harmful individuals before their appeals are heard if there is no risk of serious, irreversible harm. We have also introduced new powers to stop foreign criminals using family life arguments to delay their deportation.

I am encouraged by what the Minister has said, and I appreciate all that he and the Home Office are doing to deport criminals—including EU nationals—who are guilty of serious crimes. He will know of the case of Mr Peter Pavlisin, a Slovakian national who brutally attacked his pregnant Gloucester girlfriend in January 2013 and was sentenced. Will he update me on when a decision on Mr Pavlisin’s deportation will be made?

I cannot comment on the specifics of my hon. Friend’s case, but I can underline the Government’s commitment to removing foreign national offenders from this country—just under 5,100 were removed last year. There is a cross-Government approach to ensure that we do all we can to redocument and remove foreign national offenders and, with the changes in the Immigration Act 2014 that I underlined, we have changed the law to ensure that we speed up those deportations.

My constituents are rightly concerned about the £800 million annual cost to the taxpayer of housing more than 12,000 foreign offenders in UK jails. Will my hon. Friend outline what steps can be taken to reduce that cost, while still ensuring that justice is served?

I can certainly underline the steps that we are taking to speed up the process. Moving offenders straight from prison to deportation is saving the taxpayer £27.5 million, and Operation Nexus ensures that police officers work alongside immigration enforcement officers to ensure that the information needed to aid deportation later in the process is provided. We are taking an end-to-end approach.

Recently, the Australian Government decided to deport an individual following serious concerns about the impact of his views on the safety of women. To prevent us from having to deport individuals as the Australians did, and given that his seminars promote choking and sexual assaults in order to seduce women, will the Home Secretary consider using her powers to exclude Julien Blanc from the UK if, like me, she assesses that his presence is not conducive to the public good?

The Government firmly underline their commitment to promoting the role of women within government, business and the whole country, and they condemn any action that might stand against that. The hon. Lady has alluded to a case highlighted in the press. I cannot comment on the specifics of that particular case, but I can assure her about the steps this Government are taking, and about the record of this Home Secretary in excluding more people on grounds of unacceptable behaviour than any of her predecessors.