Campaigners have said they believe the planned deportation to Jamaica of more than 50 people held in detention centres near Heathrow cannot go ahead, following an intervention by the Court of Appeal.
Government ministers had previously insisted the flight, which was understood to be scheduled to leave the UK at 6.30am on Tuesday, would go ahead despite concerns people who came to the country as young children will be on board.
The Home Office was ordered on Monday evening not to remove anyone scheduled to be deported on the flight from two detention centres near Heathrow Airport, after lawyers launched urgent proceedings amid concerns mobile phone outages had prevented access to legal advice.
Lady Justice Simler said those detainees should not be removed unless the Home Office is satisfied they “had access to a functioning, non-O2 Sim card on or before February 3”.
The judge granted the order without a court hearing following an urgent application on paper by charity Detention Action.
The charity argued that some of the detainees at Colnbrooke and Harmondsworth detention centres still do not have a functioning mobile phone, following issues with an O2 phone mast in the area.
Bella Sankey, director of Detention Action, said: “We are delighted with this landmark decision which is a victory for access to justice, fairness and the rule of law.
“On the basis of this order from our Court of Appeal we do not believe that anyone currently detained at the Heathrow detention centres can be removed on tomorrow’s flight.
“We understand that this will apply to at least 56 people.”
A Home Office spokeswoman said: “The planned charter flight to Jamaica is specifically for deporting foreign national offenders. Those detained for removal include people convicted of manslaughter, rape, violent crime and dealing Class-A drugs.
“We are urgently asking the judge to reconsider their ruling and it would be inappropriate to comment further whilst legal proceedings are ongoing.”
Some of those due to be on the flight had bids to block their deportations refused by the High Court on paper, without a hearing taking place, by the time the court closed for business on Monday.
But a spokeswoman for the judiciary confirmed other cases were still being considered, while lawyers representing those whose cases were rejected said they would press for an urgent reconsideration at an out-of-hours telephone hearing.