Priti Patel fury as Labour tries to block removal of failed asylum seekers

Priti Patel grilled by Tim Loughton over France border funds

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Left-wing MPs wrote to the Home Secretary demanding she end the eviction of those whose claims to stay have been rejected by the courts. Until last Monday, they were entitled to free housing while lockdown measures were still in place but this ended on “Freedom Day”. It came in a week when hundreds more illegal immigrants crossed the Channel in small boats.

Migration control campaigners have previously raised concerns that a combination of the French failing to tackle the problem on their side, and attempts by opponents to prevent deportations, is encouraging a flood of illegal migrants and the criminal activities of human traffickers.

The letter, penned by Wavertree MP Paula Barker and signed by 11 Labour colleagues from the Liverpool City Region, demanded a pause to the evictions. They claimed that local authorities in the region were already stretched because of the pandemic. They said: “It’s an outrage that some of the most vulnerable people in our communities are facing impending homelessness at the hands of your department, without being provided with the information we need to plan our local response.

“We ask that planned evictions are paused to allow for discussions to take place between Ministers and the Liverpool City Region Mayor, Steve Rotheram, and local authority leaders about this issue, in the same manner as has been afforded to the devolved administrations in the other nations of the UK.”

Ms Patel rejected the demand and pointed out it was part of a wider attempt by Sir Keir Starmer and Labour to stop immigration control after they opposed her Borders Bill to reform “the broken asylum system”.

She said: “This week Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party voted against vital new laws to crack down on despicable people-smuggling gangs, stop illegal Channel crossings and remove dangerous foreign criminals from our country.

“The Shadow Secretary for Northern Ireland and members of the Labour Party urged me to halt a deportation flight to thwart the removal of murderers, rapists and child abusers from our shores.

“Now Labour MPs want me to stop removing failed asylum seekers from taxpayer-funded accommodation, a system which is costing the taxpayer over £1billion each year.

“Labour oppose measures to reform our broken asylum system, oppose removing dangerous foreign criminals and now they want the British taxpayer to fund failed asylum seekers for longer.”

She added: “They are quite simply not on the side of the British public.”

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