Passports (Confiscation)

Home Department written question – answered on 7th November 2001.

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Photo of Andrew Dismore Andrew Dismore Labour, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will remove the passports of individuals who have expressed an intention to go to (a) Afghanistan and (b) Pakistan to fight against British or US armed forces; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Angela Eagle Angela Eagle Parliamentary Secretary (Home office)

The courts have distinct statutory powers to order the surrender of passports belonging to football hooligans and drug offenders but, in general, the power of the Secretary of State to refuse or withdraw passport facilities is limited to certain categories which have previously been announced in Parliament. These include:

"in very rare cases a person whose past or proposed activities are so demonstrably undesirable that the grant or continued enjoyment of passport facilities would be contrary to the public interest".

I will carefully consider the individual circumstances of any cases which appear to fall into this category.

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