Javid accused of ‘human fly-tipping’ over decision on Shamima Begum citizenship

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has been accused of "human fly-tipping" over the decision to revoke the British citizenship of runaway Islamic State bride Shamima Begum.

Ms Begum, 19, was one of three schoolgirls to leave Bethnal Green to join the terror cult in 2015 and resurfaced at a Syrian refugee camp earlier this year.

Mr Javid cancelled the teenager's British citizenship in February in a move only permissible under international law if it does not leave the individual stateless.

Mohammed Akunjee, a lawyer representing the family of Ms Begum, has called for the decision to be overturned and an apology offered, accusing Mr Javid of using the case to further his political career.

In a letter published by the Times, Mr Akunjee said: "Your act represents the most profoundly egregious, capricious and politically-driven abuse of power.

"It was a unilateral, unprincipled response to the publishing of Mr Loyd's interview (with Ms Begum in a refugee camp), deployed as an artifice or device to further your own personal political objective of being Prime Minister.

"Ms Begum was a pawn to your vanity. Her baby died."

Missing schoolgirls
Missing schoolgirls

Ms Begum, then heavily pregnant, was interviewed at the Al-Roj camp in northern Syria on February 13 this year and said she wished to return to the UK, as the self-styled caliphate collapsed.

Mr Akunjee wrote she feared about the quality of healthcare which would be offered to the then unborn child given her first and second child had both died.

The baby, named Jarrah, was born on February 16 and died of pneumonia on March 8, the letter said.

Sajid Javid
Sajid Javid

Stripping citizenship is only legal if the individual has a second one, and it was thought Ms Begum may have a claim in Bangladesh because of her family background, but Bangladeshi officials denied this.

The letter said: "Shamima Begum's parents never contemplated a life for her in Bangladesh. They did not register her birth with the Bangladeshi High Commission.

"They did not take her to Bangladesh on holiday as a child. Indeed she has never visited the country.

"Rather, Shamima was born, raised, groomed and radicalised here in the UK.

"The suggestion that Shamima is to you genuinely a Bangladeshi citizen is unsustainable."

It added: "It is the responsibility of a British Secretary of State to deal with British problems.

"Rather than take responsibility for Shamima Begum and her son, you took a British problem and illegally dumped it on our innocent international neighbours.

"You have dishonourably left it to the Kurdish people to bear the financial and security burden of Shamima's safety and upkeep.

"You left them to minister to her sick child and to bury him. Through sleight of hand, you have sought to burden the Bangladeshis with her in the longer term.

"Your cynical decision amounts to human fly-tipping."