11:10AM, Saturday 22 January 2022
Tory councillor Dexter Smith walked out of Tuesday’s extraordinary council meeting over a debate on the Government’s proposed Nationality and Borders Bill.
As part of a shake-up of immigration law, the Government could be granted the power to remove someone’s UK citizenship without telling them.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said the new law could be used in ‘exceptional circumstances’ but the proposals have faced opposition.
Labour councillors agreed to write to the Conservative Home Secretary to register the council’s formal opposition to Clause 9 of the bill during Tuesday’s meeting.
Councillor Christine Hulme (Lab, Central) said: “This issue of immigration and asylum seeking seems to rear its head at a time when the Tory Government is in crisis.
“In effect its red meat to the right of the Conservative party and their supporters.
“When we talk about an issue of human rights and asylum seeking it’s a deflection about their other failings.
“This town is a refuge already to a number of families and children who have sought asylum from around the world.”
But Slough Conservative leader Dexter Smith slammed the debate as a waste of taxpayers’ money.
He added: “There is no change in the criteria for withdrawing citizenship and there is no change in the right of appeal.
“All that is really happening is the Government is saying in certain exceptional circumstances, where intelligence is concerned or people have chosen to run away, those people do not need to be notified in advance of their citizenship.
“This is a farce and I and my members do not want to stay and dignifiy this farce of a meeting and this motion.”
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