‘Mismanagement’ by the Home Office has allowed a double murderer entry into Britain, according
to Labour. A Bangladeshi national, who was convicted of murdering two people in 1990, was
granted entry into the UK on human rights grounds. The man, known as ZR, upon release in 1997,
married a British woman and had three children.
The initial application was made in 2011, but this was rejected on the grounds that his entry
‘was not in the public interest’, a key consideration when the Home Office consider the entry
applications of non-British nationals. This was appealed on the basis that, not to allow ZR entry to
join his family, was to contravene his right to ‘private and family life‘ under Article 8 of the Human
This verdict could have been appealed by the Home Office, but it failed to lodge the papers on
time. This failure was without any ‘clear explanation’, according to Judge Peter King, who refused
permission to launch a late appeal.
This outcome has divided the mainstream political parties, with the Conservatives condemning the
exploitation of Labour’s Human Rights Act. Conservative MP Dominic Raab warned that ‘Article
8 claims are making Britain a safe haven for the most dangerous foreign criminals’, and blamed
Labour for passing legislation that has allowed a convicted criminal to ‘skip past UK border
controls designed to protect the public’.
However, Labour laid the blame squarely at the door of Conservative Home Secretary Theresa
May. Shadow Immigration Minister David Hanson defended the operation of the Human
Rights Act, and stated that ZR’s entry into Britain was a result of May grossly mismanaging her
department. He concluded by stating that the UK ‘deserves better’.
The Home Office swiftly assured the public that this was an isolated incident, and reaffirmed their
remit ‘to challenge appeals from convicted serious criminals looking for settlement in the UK, in
the interests of protecting our law-abiding citizens’. They emphasised that this ruling, allowing ZR
entry into Britain, was made before important provisions under the Immigration Act 2014 came
into force at the end of July.
Since the end of July, the courts must deliberate a host of new public interest considerations in
Article 8 immigration claims. It is too early to predict whether this will prevent Britain from being
a ‘safe haven’ for criminals, as Dominic Raab alleged. What is certain is that the Home Office will
lodge their appeal papers on time in the future.