AN Algerian crook with 28 convictions cannot be deported as he married a woman from the EU — even though they split 14 years ago.
Under freedom of movement rules Rachid Nouazli is still in Britain despite being jailed 21 times.
Home Secretary Priti Patel told The Sun the Tories would close the barmy loophole and kick him out.
But under Labour plans to retain the EU Free Movement Directive, Nouazli would be allowed to stay.
Nouazli came to Britain on false French documents in 1996 and failed with an asylum attempt.
A year later he wed his wife, who has French citizenship, meaning he was allowed to remain.
She left him in 2005 and went back to France with their three children, but Nouazli, a barber, stayed in London.
Since 2001 he has been convicted of numerous thefts and drug offences.
He has also served jail terms of longer than 12 months, which would normally trigger deportation.
But at a 2008 hearing judges ruled the risk he presented was not serious enough to justify that.
Ms Patel said yesterday: “What concerns people is not a fear of foreigners, but the lack of control we have over who comes to our country while we are in the EU. It’s not just the lack of control over the numbers coming into the country, it’s the way EU law makes it harder to remove
those who abuse our hospitality.
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“When we leave the EU we will end this discrimination that endangers the public by prioritising the rights of criminals over victims.”
But Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott tweeted: “Labour is committed to maintaining and extending freedom of movement rights.”
In Manor Park, East London, yesterday Nouazli insisted: “I’ve been in trouble before with everybody but now I am not, I had enough of prison and everything. I am happy I could stay.”
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