Jeremy Corbyn launched a scathing personal attack on Boris Johnson over the way black and white children connected to class A drugs are treated by the government in the wake of the deportation of ex-offenders to Jamaica.
The Labour leader called out the prime minister over allegations of his own drug use in the Commons, saying: “If there was a case of a young white boy with blond hair who later dabbled in class A drugs, and conspired with a friend to beat up a journalist, would he deport that boy?
“Or is it one rule for one black boys from the Caribbean and another for white boys from the United States?”
The prime minister was born in New York and gave up his US citizenship in 2016. He admitted he tried cocaine as a teenager and was recorded in 1990 on a call with his friend Darius Guppy, who was discussing how he planned on beating up a fellow journalist.
Corbyn used Prime Minister’s Questions to confront Johnson over the controversial deportation of ex-offenders to Jamaica.
About 50 people were due to be flown to the country earlier this week, including those convicted of rape, manslaughter and drugs offences.
However, the court of appeal stopped the deportation of 25 people due on the flight over concerns they had not had adequate access to legal advice because of a temporary outage of mobile phone signal in January.
Corbyn asked about the case of one offender who came to the UK aged five, who was recruited into a county lines drugs gang and had served time for his drugs offence.
The Labour leader said the man had served his time in prison and had never committed another crime.
He asked: “Does the prime minister think that someone who came to this country at the age of five and was the victim of county lines grooming and compelled to carry drugs, released five years ago and never reoffended, deserves to be deported?”
Johnson replied: “It is entirely right that foreign national offenders should be deported from this country in accordance with the law.”
Corbyn said: “Then the government has learnt nothing from the Windrush scandal.
“This cruel and callous government is trying to mislead the British people into thinking it’s solely deporting foreign nationals who are guilty of murder, rape and other very serious offences. This is clearly not the case.”
The deportation case has ignited rows about the Windrush immigration scandal as the “lessons learned” report is expected to suggest that all deportation flights cease until more work can be done to ascertain people’s citizenship.
The government has said none of the offenders are connected to Windrush and none are British nationals.
Johnson said Corbyn had demeaned himself by the tone of his questions and “besmirches the reputation of the Windrush generation who came to this country to work in our public services, to teach our children in this country”.
He later said the Labour leader was “soft” on the deportation of violent foreign offenders.