JEREMY CORBYN tore into Boris Johnson at prime minister’s questions yesterday over the stalled Home Office bid to deport 50 ex-offenders to Jamaica.
The Labour leader accused Mr Johnson of learning ‘absolutely nothing from the Windrush scandal’ and drew gasps from MPs with a deeply personal attack.
‘If there was a case of a young white boy with blond hair who later dabbled in class A drugs and conspired with a friend to beat up a journalist, would he deport that boy?’ Mr Corbyn asked.
‘Or is it one rule for young black boys from the Caribbean and another for white boys from the United States?’
Mr Johnson — who was born in New York — has admitted taking cocaine while a student at Oxford, and was recorded in 1990 agreeing to pass on the contact details of a News of the World journalist to a friend who wanted to give the reporter a ‘couple of black eyes’.
The attack never happened and the PM later claimed he was ‘humouring’ the friend and did not pass on the details. No legal action was taken against him.
Mr Johnson in turn accused Mr Corbyn of ‘demeaning himself and besmirching the reputation’ of the Windrush generation. ‘He has no right to conflate them with the foreign national offenders we are deporting today,’ the PM said.
Just 17 ex-offenders were deported on Monday after the Court of Appeal ruled that the remainder had been unable to access legal advice. The government says they include ‘a killer, a rapist, a gunman, violent thugs and Class A drug dealers’.
But lawyers for the group claim that most have been convicted of drug-related offences — often only once — and several have been groomed into county lines operations.
■ BORIS JOHNSON’S Caribbean holiday over the new year was a £15,000 gift from a wealthy Tory party donor. The PM listed his and girlfriend Carrie Symonds’ stay in St Vincent and the Grenadines in the Commons’ register of members’ interests and stated it was paid for by David Ross, who co-founded the Carphone Warehouse chain. The couple’s break lasted from December 26 to January 5, according to the register entry