Fresh Qatada confusion
There was fresh confusion over the Government's handling of the Abu Qatada case today after David Cameron suggested the Euroepan Court of Human Rights had confirmed the UK's deadline for his deportation case.
Speaking to the Today programme, Mr Cameron said:
"The Home Office believed – and checked during the process – that the date expired on the Monday night. They were told throughout the deadline expired on the Monday night."
But he then appeared to water this down with a fresh BBC News interview in which he said: "Throughout that process the Home Office and the Foreign Office had regularly discussed with the European Court of Human Rights what the deadline was and their assumption, and the assumption and understanding was the Monday night, so I'm content that the Home Office acted properly."
The Prime Minister's official spokesman was unable to say whether Strasbourg had confirmed the date. He said: "We were basing our judgement on a number of things. One of those was conversations we had had with the European Court. The Home Office had conversations with officials at the European Court where the purpose of those conversations was to check our view."
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said it was "a serious problem for the Home Office if the Home Secretary and the Prime Minister were given wrong advice".
However she added that if they knew there was a risk and "ploughed on" anyway, it represented a "serious error of judgment".