Revealed: Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer led the charge to allow ISIS bride Shamima Begum to return to Britain amid signs of a split among Tory MPs

  • Sir Keir Starmer led a chorus of support for Shamima Begum’s return last year
  • He said in 2019 that stripping Begum of UK citizenship ‘was the wrong decision’  
  • The Bethnal Green schoolgirl, now 20, left Britain in 2015 to join the jihad in Syria

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer led the charge to allow Islamic State bride Shamima Begum to return to the UK last year – despite fears she would endanger British lives.

As a member of Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet, Sir Keir said in March 2019 that stripping Begum of her British citizenship ‘was the wrong decision’ and ‘a rushed decision’.

The Mail on Sunday later published details of top-secret briefings about the Bethnal Green runaway. 

Sir Keir led a chorus of support for Begum’s return last year, backed by Lisa Nandy, now the Shadow Foreign Secretary, and Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds. Begum is pictured above

Begum, now 20, left Britain in 2015 to join the jihad in Syria, with security sources telling this newspaper that she was seen stitching suicide bombers into explosive vests.

A British-Bangladesh dual national, Begum, who married Dutch-born IS fighter Yago Riedijk in Syria, had her British citizenship stripped in February 2019 but the Court of Appeal ruled last week that she should be allowed to return to fight this decision.

Challenged on Sir Keir’s previous remarks, Labour last night insisted: ‘We will not be welcoming the prospect of anyone returning to this country who wish us harm.’

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer led the charge to allow Islamic State bride Shamima Begum to return to the UK last year – despite fears she would endanger British lives

Sir Keir led a chorus of support for Begum’s return last year, backed by Lisa Nandy, now the Shadow Foreign Secretary, and Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds.

There have been signs of a split among Tory MPs on the issue. 

Former Home Secretary Sajid Javid has warned that allowing Begum back would ‘create a national security risk’. 

But last night, Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the Commons Defence Select Committee, asked: ‘Are we safer with her behind bars in the UK or languishing in a rickety, militia-run, poorly guarded refugee camp with thousands of hardliners who are now escaping in numbers and running fresh radicalisation programmes?’

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