The Jamaican government has called on the Home Office to halt a controversial deportation flight to the island nation scheduled to leave on Wednesday due to concerns over “importing” the Delta variant of Covid, the Guardian has learned.
A flight was scheduled to take off from Birmingham airport but is now due to take off from Stansted in the early hours of Wednesday morning. About 18 people are due to be deported. Many of those due to be removed have convictions for drug offences, some relatively minor ones and some more major.
It is understood many of those due to board the flight have not been deemed dangerous in assessments by Home Office officials. Many have British children and some have partners who are key workers, such as nurses for the NHS.
The flight has been beset with problems, including claims by lawyers that one man, Sanjay McLean, 41, has a right to British citizenship under Windrush rules as his father, Alpheus Thompson, arrived in the UK from Jamaica in December 1958 and became a British citizen. McLean received a conviction for actual bodily harm in 2014.