Theresa May has been accused of “unacceptable and regrettable behaviour” by a judge as she became only the second Home Secretary in history to be found guilty of contempt of court.
Mrs May ignored a legal agreement to release an Algerian robber from immigration detention in a decision that lawyers say risked throwing the whole system into confusion.
As a result, Judge Barry Cotter, QC, made the extremely rare ruling that the Home Secretary was in contempt of court.
He said there has been the “most regrettable and unacceptable behaviour” of the Secretary of State leading to an “intentional breach” of her previous undertaking to free the foreign criminal, Aziz Lamari.
The judge said he recognised the seriousness of her failure to obey the deal, and said that a clear message must be sent that it must not happen again.
However because the Home Secretary eventually released the prisoner, she escaped sanctions which could have included a fine or even imprisonment.