Jan 30 2014
David Cameron is to avoid a confrontation with his own backbenchers by ordering Conservative ministers to abstain in a key vote over deporting foreign criminals.
An amendment to the Immigration Bill tabled by Tory backbencher Dominic Raab would prevent foreign nationals dodging deportation after serving a jail sentence by claiming that it would breach their right to a family life.
Downing Street said Mr Cameron had "a very great deal of sympathy" with Mr Raab's intentions but feared that his proposals might not be workable, as they could trigger a large number of appeals to the courts.
Mr Cameron's decision to abstain will split the coalition Government, as Liberal Democrat ministers have been told to oppose the amendment in the House of Commons this afternoon.