Asked if the government was looking at all options to deport Abu Qatada, including temporarily leaving the European Convention of Human Rights, the PMS said the government was looking at all options. As the Home Secretary had set out that day, the government was taking forward a mutual assistance treaty with Jordan, as well as seeking permission from the Supreme Court to appeal. He said the government believed the treaty would deliver the protection required by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) to allow Qatada’s deportation. The PMS said the government was working very hard to deport Qatada, who he said was a dangerous individual. He said intensive discussions with the Jordanian authorities had resulted in the treaty. The PMS described this as the right track to pursue, along with the appeal, and repeated the point that the Prime Minister was prepared to pursue all options.
Asked if the Prime Minister was confident he had the support of the Deputy Prime Minister, the PMS said the government was committed to doing all it could and had that day announced a treaty with the Jordanians.
Questioned on whether the Prime Minister had confidence in the legal process, the PMS said the Prime Minister shared the view of the Home Secretary: the treaty included two articles that directly address the burden of proof issues that SIAC had identified.