LONDON, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- British Prime Minister David Cameron was only able to win a vote on an amendment by a Conservative backbencher Thursday with help from the Labor Party.
The amendment to the immigration bill by Dominic Raab, an international lawyer elected to Parliament in 2010, would have made it harder for foreign criminals to argue they have a family in Britain to avoid deportation, the Guardian reported. It lost 241 to 97, with Labor members of Parliament joining Cameron's Liberal Democrat coalition partners in voting it down.
Theresa May, the Conservative home secretary, said the amendment would put Britain in violation of the European convention on human rights. But the government instructed Conservatives who did not want to vote against the amendment to abstain instead of trying to enforce party discipline.
"The government's immigration bill has become a complete car crash," Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said. "Tory ministers ran away from their own MPs today even though they told the Commons themselves this could have made it harder to deport foreign criminals."
An amendment proposed by May would allow naturalized British citizens to have their citizenship reversed if they are determined to be major threats to security. The amendment passed 297 to 34, with Labor MPs abstaining.
Those who lose their citizenship who cannot claim to be citizens of another country would become stateless.