Shamima Begum ‘belongs to England’ and should return, her father says

Islamic State bride Shamima Begum's father has said she "belongs to England" and urged the Government to restore her citizenship.

Ahmed Ali said his 19-year-old daughter should face justice in Britain despite previously appearing to back the removal of her citizenship.

His comments, speaking to ITV News at his home in Bangladesh, contradict an earlier interview with The Mail On Sunday in which he reportedly said he "does not have a problem" with the Government's handling of the case.

Shamima Begum, then 15, who fled the UK to join the Islamic State terror group in Syria aged 15, and has been stripped of her British citizenship by the Home Office (PA)

Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, stripped Ms Begum of her citizenship on advice she qualified for Bangladeshi citizenship through her mother.

Mr Ali told ITV News: "I don't think he's (Sajid Javid) done the right thing because she is a British citizen, and if it turns out she has committed any crimes, then she should face justice in the UK.

"She belongs to this country, she belongs to England.

"My daughter was a little child, she made a mistake, she didn't properly understand.

"I would like to make a plea to the British Government not to strip her of her citizenship.

"If she has made any mistakes, bring her back to London, and let them do whatever they think is necessary, but I think taking her back to London, I think is necessary.

"I see my daughter as British and I am hoping she will return, and whatever needs to be done, I and my family will do to support this.

"We will all fight to bring my daughter back to Britain.

"My wife is trying, and I will support my wife in her effort to bring our child back to the UK.

Sajid Javid comments
Sajid Javid comments

"I don't believe she'll be given Bangladeshi citizenship.

"And Shamima has never been to Bangladesh, I think the best thing will be if Britain takes her."

Ms Begum has given several media interviews since she surfaced in a Syrian refugee camp, where she recently gave birth.

Her father added: "My message to Shamima is, if any reporters come to you, acknowledge your mistake, she was a child, and she was a child and didn't understand what she was doing.

"I'd tell her to also apologise to the British Government."