THE cases of eight people who were due to be deported to Jamaica are being reviewed by the Home Office after fresh legal representations were made.

Some 50 people were expected to be on the flight that left the UK on Tuesday morning.

But it ended up taking off with 17 on board after a last-minute legal battle between the UK Government and human rights campaigners.

Officials and ministers have argued that all due to be deported were foreign criminals who had committed serious offences – but campaigners, supported by 150 MPs, say they came to the country as children and are “British in every meaningful way”.

They also argue that some were sentenced for one-time drug offences when they were young.

Tajay Thompson, who was one of those to be granted a last-minute reprieve, served half of a 15-month sentence in 2015 after he was convicted of possessing crack cocaine and heroin with intent to supply as a 17-year-old.

He had previously told how he was groomed by a gang and forced to sell drugs as a teenager, and has not re-offended since his release.

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Now aged 23, Thomson had originally arrived in Britain at five and lives with his mother and younger brother in Battersea, south London.

He says he has only ever visited Jamaica twice on holiday since.

Thomson remains in Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre near Heathrow Airport, where he had been awaiting the flight. He said: "I feel happy, but also I don't. I'm still stuck here.

"I want to be free, I want to be with my family and carry on my life but I can't.

"I don't know what is going on. I was told I was going on the flight, then my ticket was cancelled.

"The atmosphere was very low yesterday but it is very lively right now.

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"Some of the other people here were told they were going but haven't, or they were brought back from the plane."

Lawyers are now applying for him to be released on bail, and hope at some point to help him to secure permanent leave to remain in the UK.

However, the UK Government has said that it will urgently appeal against the Court of Appeal ruling that prevented 25 people from boarding the flight.

The ruling came after concerns were raised about whether those being held in detention centres had adequate access to legal advice.

Under the UK Borders Act 2007, the Home Office must make a deportation order where a foreign national has been convicted of an offence and received a custodial sentence of 12 months or more.

But there are several exceptions to this – including when doing so would breach someone’s human rights or the UK’s obligations under the Refugee Convention.

Lady Justice Simler last night ordered the Home Office not to carry out the scheduled deportation of some people amid concerns that problems with mobile phone signal at the Colnbrook and Harmondsworth centres in Heathrow had prevented them from having adequate access to legal advice while in detention awaiting deportation.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman has said that the government made "no apology whatsoever for seeking to remove serious foreign national offenders".