Engagements

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 3rd May 2006.

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Photo of Tony Blair Tony Blair Prime Minister 11:30 am, 3rd May 2006

Yes, I can explain that. Back in August 2005, before any parliamentary questions were raised about the issue, the practice of the immigration department changed so that instead of relying on the prisons to notify it of the release dates of prisoners, it sent immigration officers directly into prisons. That, therefore, meant that many more cases were identified and I can give the right hon. Gentleman the figures. After that point, there were 1,000 actual removals and deportations and 3,000 cases considered, so the rate at which cases came to the immigration and nationality department increased dramatically. However, from 30 March, every case is considered before release and that, let me tell the House, is the first time that has happened for decades.