Death of deportee Jimmy Mubenga 'regrettable'

Jimmy Mubenga Jimmy Mubenga collapsed on a plane at Heathrow Airport

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The death of an Angolan man who fell ill as he was being deported from the UK was "extraordinarily regrettable", the security minister has said.

Three security guards have been arrested over the death of Jimmy Mubenga, 46, who collapsed on a plane at Heathrow Airport last week.

Baroness Neville-Jones told the House of Lords the findings of any inquiries would be taken "very seriously".

She was responding to comments made by Labour's Lord Judd.

During Wednesday's question time he said: "This issue is not only grave in itself, the trouble is that when something goes wrong it plays directly into the hands of those who are trying to manipulate opinion in support of militant rebels, militant terrorists and the rest."

'Alleged abuse'

He added: "It is therefore essential to get the administration of policy in this area right and humane in the cause of winning hearts and minds."

Lady Neville-Jones said: "This is the first time there has been a death of an escorted individual.

"It is extraordinarily regrettable and we entirely take the point that this is exactly what we do not wish to have happen."

Mr Mubenga became unwell while being escorted on a British Airways flight that was preparing for Angola shortly on Tuesday last week.

He was taken to hospital but pronounced dead shortly after arriving. Post-mortem tests have so far proved inconclusive.

The three security guards, aged 35, 48 and 49, were arrested on Monday and released on police bail until December while inquiries continue.

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