Yvette Cooper MP, Labour's Shadow Home Secretary, responding to Sunday Times reports this morning on Abu Qatada, said:
"It is clear the Government has not done all it could to stop Abu Qatada being released from high-security prison and now the full cost of this inaction is apparent.
"As soon as the European Court judgement was delivered over a month ago the Government could have appealed the decision and begun urgent negotiations with the Jordanian Government. Instead they still appear to be playing catch up. These delays contributed to the court decision to release Qatada as it is clear from the court papers that the judge did not believe progress was being made in deporting Qatada.
"Reports now suggest that this is taking scarce resources away from serious investigations and costing over £100,000 a week.
"We are also seriously concerned that should Qatada’s bail conditions be relaxed, within weeks, the Government’s scrapping of Control Orders means that he would be free to move around during the day, even using the internet and a mobile phone. That would also cost the police and security services even more in monitoring.
"Delays by the Government have led to significant extra pressure being placed on the police and security services and this could get worse due to the Home Secretary’s decision to weaken counter terror powers designed to deal with situations like this. In national security cases like this Ministers must take a more proactive and responsible approach."