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Minister to investigate reports of mistreatment of Glasgow asylum seekers

Categories: Articles:Asylum & Refugees | Published: 06/07/2016 | Views: 1063
A Conservative minister has pledged to investigate reports of the ill-treatment of asylum seekers in Glasgow. Home Office minister James Brokenshire said that he would probe claims that some cannot lock the doors of their accommodation. The vow came as SNP MP Chris Stephens raised concerns about what have been described as 'horrific' conditions. (Kate Devlin, The Herald Scotland)

Earlier this year the Home Secretary Theresa May was forced to admit she had never visited asylum seekers' accommodation as she was confronted with pictures of sewage leaking through a sink in a Glasgow flat.

Members of the Commons Home Affairs Committee also had to give a man £5 to buy a lightbulb after discovering that his bedroom had been in darkness for weeks and that he "had to go into the bathroom to read his book"  

The outsourcing giant Serco holds the contract to house asylum seekers and uses the subcontractors Orchard and Shipman. Serco has insisted that all 1,860 properties it provides in Glasgow meet Home Office standards and are among some of the most heavily inspected properties in the sector.

Mr Brokenshire said that he was “very happy to look into” reports that some asylum seekers could not lock their doors. He also promised to “reflect upon” how inspections are carried out.
Mr Stephens demanded reforms, warning that some asylum seekers were being left terrified by the process, during a debate on the issue in Westminster Hall.

Keith Vaz, the Labour chairman of the Home Affairs committee, also attended the debate to ask why Glasgow did not receive more support from other councils across the UK.  Mr Vaz told MPs: “Glasgow is top of the list for the entire UK. Other local authorities in the South East are not doing enough, why can’t they take more (asylum seekers) to ease the pressure on Glasgow?”

Mr Brokenshire said that there were ongoing discussions with other councils, in Scotland and across the rest of the UK. The minister said that all asylum seekers should be treated with “dignity and respect” and housed in safe and clean accommodation. Read more here        
Read the full debate on Hansard here
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