The UK immigration minister has blasted lawyers’ tactics after their eleventh-hour legal challenges prevented more than 35 Jamaican murderers, rapists and other criminals from being deported on Wednesday morning.

Speaking on Wednesday, immigration minister Chris Philp said that 13 “dangerous” criminals had been deported in the early hours on Wednesday morning, but many had been left off the flight due to last-minute legal challenges by their lawyers.

It is disappointing that specialist immigration law firms continued to use last-minute tactics to remove a significant number of offenders from this flight.

It was reported by the Independent that at least 10 of the 50 people scheduled to be on the flight to Jamaica were removed with just hours to spare.

According to the Independent, some of the legal challenges claimed the accused were victims of modern slavery and had been coerced into criminal activity.

The minister lamented the timing of the legal challenges.

These individuals had every opportunity to raise the claims in the days and weeks leading up to the flight; however, a significant number of claims were not submitted until hours before the flight was due to leave – meaning murderers and rapists have been able to stay in the UK.

Philp said that the 50 criminals had spent a combined 228 years in prison at huge cost to the British taxpayer.

He added that the news will have a devastating impact on victims and their families.

Philp made the comments during a Home Affairs Committee meeting concerning channel crossings, migration and routes taken by asylum-seekers through the EU.

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