Islamic State 'Beatles' duo: UK 'will not block death penalty'

The UK would not oppose the use of the death penalty if two alleged Islamic state members were extradited to the US, the home secretary says.

In a letter leaked to the Telegraph, Sajid Javid said he would seek no assurances about the sentences.

Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, from west London, were captured in Syria in January.

Labour said the UK had “unilaterally abandoned” its opposition to the death penalty.

Number 10 said the PM was aware of the letter and discussions with the US on this issue were continuing.

Shami Chakrabarti, Labour’s shadow attorney general, said Mr Javid had “secretly and unilaterally abandoned Britain’s opposition to the death penalty” and appeared to be encouraging “this grave human rights abuse”.

The men, from west London, are accused of being the last two members of an IS foursome dubbed “The Beatles”.

Earlier this year, in an interview with Associated Press, they complained that they would not get a fair trial because the UK government had stripped them of their British citizenship.

The BBC’s security correspondent Frank Gardner said if the pair were sent to the controversial US military prison Guantanamo Bay – where suspects have been detained without trial – the UK would withhold intelligence.

In the letter to Jeff Sessions, dated 22 June 2018, Mr Javid wrote that the UK would not seek “assurances” over the death penalty in this particular case, but said it did not mark a change in UK policy.

“I am of…

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