Justice secretary Ken Clarke has dismissed the furore surrounding the attempted deportation of terror suspect, Abu Qatada, insisting it's not a "big deal".
Soon after the home secretary Theresa May announced to the House of Commons that the radical cleric had been rearrested on Tuesday, Qatada's lawyers lodged an appeal with Europe's human rights judges, effectively putting moves to return him to stand trial in his native Jordan on hold.
The government ealier claimed the deadline for him to lodge an appeal had passed and he would be deported with ministers insisting they calculated the deadline date correctly and that lawyers had written to the European Court of Human Rights, arguing the appeal should not be heard.
Clarke said he was "sure the Home Office lawyers will sort it out" and was "not quite sure what the big deal is".
"This isn't unusual in legal proceedings. I'm quite confident the Home Office will sort it out, I'm leaving it to them, they are arguing the point," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Thursday.
"I'm not party and I'm still not party to the Home Office legal advice. If I was the home secretary, I would probably be confident it was right.
"I know what the home secretary has said. It seems to me quite sound and she could well be proved right.
"I'm not quite sure what the big deal is either, because she did say that this whole thing was going to take some months in any event before this whole thing could be resolved.
"The key thing is when do we get the decision which we want, which is that he should be deported to Jordan to stand trial in a case where torture has not been used to get the evidence."
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said May must return to the Commons to explain what had happened.
"We need urgent clarification from the home secretary on whether she got the timing wrong," Cooper said.
"The Home Office are saying one thing, the European Court another. Why didn't they just agree the deadline in advance so there could be no opportunity for Abu Qatada or his lawyers to exploit?
A Home Office spokesman said: "A letter was sent yesterday arguing the case should not be referred to the Grand Chamber of the court because the deadline of appeal had elapsed."
The row comes as Clarke hosts talks on reforming the Strasbourg-based court with justice ministers from the other 46 member nations of the Council of Europe in Brighton.
He wants to improve its efficiency, reduce the backlog of some 150,000 cases and the number of cases it hears, and increase the role of nation states in protecting human rights.
On Qatada, Clarke told BBC Breakfast there would be less "hysterical angst about where we are in this case if it hadn't taken years to get here in the first place".
He also said anyone who wanted to live in a country where the government won every legal case should move to Belarus.
"We know there are going to have to be more legal processes before we get the result we all want to have, which is this man being returned to Jordan to stand trial there," he said.
"What I'm anxious to ensure here in Brighton is the Strasbourg bit to be speeded up (so it) can concentrate on serious things, although I can't guarantee we will always win."
"Strasbourg should only take on serious cases," he continued on Today: "It shouldn't have all these rubbishy cases going through there. It's not that they're irritating, they just make all the big ones take years and years to go on."
However, the justice secretary insisted that individual countries should not be able to reject decisions laid down by the ECHR: "We can't have Parliament... reversing a judgement in the court of law. You'd be taking us back to the days of the Tudor monarchs if you did that."