Abu Qatada
Abu Qatada boards a plane to Jordan at RAF Northolt in West London at 2am on 7 July

Britain has deported radical cleric Abu Qatada to his home country of Jordan, where he will stand trial on terrorism charges after losing his eight-year legal battle to remain in the UK, Jordanian officials said.

Qatada's transfer to Jordan is a victory for authorities in both countries, which have fought a decade-long battle to have Qatada returned to his home country after he was sentenced in absentia to life in prison there for his alleged role in a 1990 consipracy.

Jordan's Information Minister, Mohammed Momani, said the country was "keen on credibility and transparency" in its handling of Qatada, promising its actions would "send a message to all fugitives that they will face justice in Jordan".

The move comes after both countries ratified a treaty ruling out the use of evidence obtained through torture being used in court against him. The lack of such an agreement had been a sticking point for judges in Britain tasked with protecting Qatada's human rights.

Qatada, 53, was transferred to the maximum-security Muwaqqar prison in the Jordanian capital, Amman, where he will be held in solitary confinement after arriving on a remote airstrip in the Jordanian desert.

He is to be retried over his alleged involvement in two bomb plots in the late 1990s.

In London, Home Secretary Theresa May confirmed Qatada's deportation, saying the public would welcome the move. Intelligence agencies had accused him of acting as an agent for al Qaida in Europe.

"This dangerous man has now been removed from our shores to face the courts in his own country," said May.

The Home Office posted a picture on social networks showing Qatada boarding the plane.

After nearly 10 years resisting efforts to get rid of him, Qatada, 53, recently indicated he would return to Jordan if it ratified its treaty on torture with the British.

The treaty explicitly bans the use of evidence "where there are serious and credible allegations that a statement from a person has been obtained by torture or ill-treatment", and was ratified by both governments last month.

It paved the way for the long-awaited removal of the man described in courts in Britain and Spain as a senior al Qaida figure in Europe, with close ties to the late Osama bin Laden.

Qatada entered the UK on a forged passport in 1993 and was granted asylum a year later.

He was sentenced to death in 1999 by a Jordanian military court for conspiracy to carry out attacks, including a plot on the country's American school in Amman.