1,500 foreigners held illegally: Indian-origin MP

London, Jan 16 (IANS) Britain is keeping 1,500 foreign criminals in jail beyond the term of their sentence while they fight deportation, Indian-origin MP Priti Patel has said.

The cost of keeping them could reach 55 million pounds a year as more than 500 foreign prisoners are held in jails after their sentences should have ended, the Telegraph reported Wednesday.

The Tory MP said almost 1,000 foreigners were kept in immigration removal centres.

Patel, who obtained the figures through a parliament question, said the government needed to scrap the Human Rights Act through which the foreigners fight deportation.

"Ministers must remove dangerous foreign criminals quickly from Britain," she said.

"Taxpayers should not be paying for foreign offenders to remain in Britain after their prison sentence has ended.

"It's a disgrace they are allowed to remain here for such a long time, which is only made worse by the Human Rights Act which must be scrapped so we can send foreign criminals back home as quickly as possible.

"We can no longer sit back because clearly it's having a serious impact on the number of foreign criminals in the country."