THE Prime Minister has told the MP for Bury North that action is being taken to deport more foreign criminals in UK jails.

David Nuttall raised the issue with David Cameron during Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament on June 18.

Mr Nuttall said: “One way of helping our country to live within its means is to send back all the convicted criminals who are foreign nationals, because it is costing British taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds each year to keep them in our prisons.

“All too often, attempts to send back such criminals are scuppered by human rights legislation.

“What plans does the Prime Minister have to put an end to that ludicrous state of affairs?”

Mr Cameron replied: “We have removed about 20,000 foreign national offenders since the Government came to office, but the number is still too high.”

He said ministers were working with officials from countries such as Nigeria to ensure prison conditions there were good enough for convicts to be transferred from UK prisons.

“We need to use the prisoner transfer agreement within the European Union, because that could lead to the return of a large number of prisoners, not least to Poland,” added Mr Cameron.

Many foreign nationals in UK prisons have relatives living in the UK and lawyers often appeal against deportation on the grounds that it would contravene their right to a family life under the Human Rights Act.

Mr Cameron said: “I believe that if we get a Conservative Government after the next election, we will have substantive reform of the Human Rights Act, which is not working properly for Britain.”