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PM: Buck stops with me on foreign criminals

PM: Buck stops with me on foreign criminals

The Prime Minister has taken responsibility for the Government's failure to deport foreign criminals after a critical report by the UK spending watchdog.

Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions, David Cameron told MPs: "The buck absolutely stops with me."

It comes after the National Audit Office attacked ministers for failing to make more progress.

The NAO said the number of foreign prisoners had gone up despite an increase in officials working on their cases. In 2010/11 5,367 foreign nationals were removed from Britain, compared to 5,097 this year.

NAO boss Amyas Morse said: "Too little progress has been made, despite the increased resources and effort devoted to this problem."

The Government has defended its action on the issue, pointing out that 22,000 have been deported under the Coalition.

Mr Cameron told the Commons: "We’re now able to deport people first and they can appeal once they’ve gone back to their country of origin... we’re making progress. The buck stops with me, but I wouldn’t mind a bit of cross-party support for the actions we need to take."

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper raised the issue with the Home Secretary in an Urgent Question today.

"The government is simply not doing enough. It’s no good blaming the past, no good blaming the others...the system is still failing on her watch and fewer foreign criminals are being deported then when she started," she said.

Responding to the Urgent Question, Theresa May pointed the finger at the previous Labour government. "Quite simply, the Home Office did not prioritise the removal of foreign national offenders before 2005," she said.

She added: "This is a problem that has best successive governments. Foreign nationals that abuse our hospitality by committing crime in this country should be in no doubt of our determination to remove them from it."

Green Box: PM: Buck stops with me on foreign criminalsClick to open

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