Radical cleric back in jail but legal battle goes on

The radical Islamist preacher Abu Qatada was back behind bars last night as the Home Office faced months of legal wrangling over its latest attempt to deport him. Theresa May set deportation for about the end of April, but within hours No 10 admitted that it was likely to take “many months” before the cleric exhausted his rights to challenge the Home Secretary’s decision. Tory and Labour MPs accused Mrs May of dragging her heels, with one Tory telling her to put Abu Qatada straight on a plane. Kate Hoey, Labour MP for Vauxhall, said that the vast majority of the public” would not understand why the Government could not deport Abu Qatada. Peter Bone, the Tory MP for Wellingborough, said: “What we have to do is put him on a plane and worry about the consequences later. It is an issue of British national security. The lives of British men, women and children

Missing month in the China inquiry

Britain failed to press China over the death of Neil Heywood for nearly a month after it emerged that the businessman had died under mysterious circumstances, ministers admitted yesterday. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office also agreed to overhaul procedures that allowed a minister to meet one of the protagonists in the case without knowing of Mr Heywood’s death. The disclosures came as David Cameron offered help to the Chinese investigating authorities and urged Beijing to follow “due process” in establishing the truth. At talks in No 10, Li Changchun, the No 5 in the ruling Politburo Standing Committee, thanked Mr Cameron for the offer of support but gave no impression that Beijing would take it up. The men agreed that both governments would stay in contact over the case, according to No 10 officials. The meeting came as William Hague, the Foreign

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    The crane operator's view from the London Shard John Young.
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