Sajid Javid’s selfish ambition eclipsed his judgement – and now Shamima Begum has the moral high ground

He wants to defend national security and impress a public understandably appalled by Begum. Yet she may be a larger threat to western security as a stateless figure at large

Let there be no doubt: the decision by the home secretary to render Shamima Begum virtually stateless is, first and foremost, deeply political.

In reality, it has nothing to do with national security, and everything to do with Sajid Javid’s ambition. He wants to be tough and seen to be tough. Ms Begum, already demonised, is too tempting a target to ignore.

She is hardly the first. Over the years a surprising number of British citizens have had their passports cancelled. The government’s use of its controversial powers to deprive British citizenship has risen from 14 people in 2016 to 104 in 2017.

the usual justification – there is no breakdown of reasons – is that the individual concerned poses a threat to the public.

That may or may not be true – but it should be tested in a court of law rather than by the often politically-driven motives of a politician.


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