This is heartbreaking. The Home Secretary’s statement on the forthcoming Immigration Bill was an opportunity to improve the poor way we treat refugees and asylum seekers. He did not mention refugees once.
Today I raised the striking absence of any refugee policy in his statement. His dismissive answer shows a callous disregard for the millions of people around the world looking for safety.
Later my colleague Paul Blomfield MP pushed the Home Secretary to be specific about how the White Paper provisions would improve life for refugees. The answer was even more pitiful.
Now I have read the White Paper, I can confirm that the refugee section is seriously lacking. While there is some mention of improving asylum decisions and access to English lessons, the document is little more than a commitment to the inadequate status quo.
But this is just the start of the process. There is scope to table amendments when this comes to Parliament as a Bill and I will make this a priority over the winter break.