10/05/2012 06:05 BST

Abu Qatada: Alan Johnson Says He Would Have Resigned After Date 'Cock-Up'

Theresa May should have resigned over the Home Office's mishandling of the appeal deadline when trying to deport terror suspect Abu Qatada, according to her predecessor Alan Johnson.

The former home secretary, speaking to BBC Radio 5 on Thursday morning, said that despite the failure of Qatada's appeal, May "still got her dates wrong, and that is an incredible cock-up".

Asked if May should resign Johnson criticised her "track record of blaming junior officials" but stopped short of explicitly calling for her to leave

However he said he would have resigned over it if he was still home secretary.

"On an issue like this, it is so difficult, I'd have resigned over it," he said.

"For all kinds of reasons this is such an important issue that Theresa May was absolutely right to get this guy out of the country, but to mess up her dates is a horrendous mistake and it just looks like amateur hour in the Government."