Four members of a British-Pakistani child sex grooming gang are facing deportation to Pakistan after an immigration tribunal ruled that they should be stripped of their British citizenship.
The men’s appeal against the government’s decision to deport them were dismissed by the Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber on Thursday.
The men who had all acquired British citizenship by naturalization are now set to be removed from the UK.
Among the group whose claims were thrown out is Shabir Ahmed, the ringleader of a group of men who preyed on girls in Rochdale.
He is serving a 22-year jail sentence after being convicted of a string of offences in 2012.
The other three claimants are Adil Khan, Qari Abdul Rauf and Abdul Aziz.
The case centres on decisions by the then home secretary Theresa May proposing to deprive the men of their British citizenship on the grounds that it would be “conducive to the public good”.
Handing down the judgment, Mr Justice McCloskey, president of the Upper Tribunal, said the cases were “of some notoriety”, and described the men’s crimes as “shocking, brutal and repulsive”.
He dismissed five different grounds of appeal – including an argument advanced by three of the men that the Government had failed in a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of their children.
The ruling also dismissed a complaint of a “disproportionate interference” with the men’s rights as EU citizens and rejected claims concerning human rights laws.
Despite the ruling, the legal battle could continue for a while as the men have further leave to appeal.