May's gaffe 'did not aid Qatada'


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The Independent Online

Abu Qatada's chances of remaining in the UK were unaffected by Theresa May's botched intervention in his deportation saga last week, it was claimed last night.

The radical cleric had been planning to appeal against attempts to send him back to Jordan, regardless of the Home Secretary's actions, sources close to his legal team revealed.

Mrs May had been accused of provoking Qatada into appealing when she "jumped the gun" by trying to restart deportation proceedings a day before the deadline for an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights expired.

"Leaving the challenge to the last day is a strategic move that gives the Government as little time as possible to prepare its case," the source said.