Corbyn: Asylum seekers deserve our help and support, not persecution

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard will today meet asylum seekers threatened with eviction by outsourcing giant Serco in Glasgow.

 

The Labour leaders said they also planned to meet and pay tribute to organisations and community activists campaigning on behalf of those facing eviction.

Earlier this month Serco’s announced a ‘pause’ on plans to change the locks on the homes of hundreds of refused asylum seekers living in Glasgow following protests and campaigns by Labour and refugee charities.

In the wake of the scandal, Jeremy Corbyn will call for the Conservative Government to start to roll back its privatisation and outsourcing agenda and "investigate taking back in house" contracts to house refugees held by private companies like Serco.

Jeremy Corbyn will also reiterate Labour’s commitment to ending Theresa May's ‘hostile environment’ policy that caused the Windrush crisis and has also led to the “cruel and inhumane” treatment of asylum seekers and refugees.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Jeremy Corbyn MP said: “The people threatened with eviction have been treated appallingly by Serco and the Home Office. This is not how our country should treat people seeking help.", adding “It is time for the Tories to end the failed privatisation agenda that is putting the public in danger."

“Time and again private profit is put ahead of the public interest. This has to end."

“Private firms have no business profiting from the detention of refugees and asylum seekers and we will end the ugly and discredited system of private firms running immigration detention centres."

Commenting on the threatened eviction of asylum seekers in Glagsow, Corbyn said that“Asylum seekers who have fled horrific conflict and violence and have since made the UK their home deserve our help and support, not persecution from profiteering private companies."

"I want to pay tribute to those who have responded and stood up to help these people. It is a moving example of solidarity and collective action.

"However, they have won just a temporary reprieve and we must now go on to the next stage of this campaign to protect and help these people.

"Theresa May’s government has failed to uphold our country’s moral duty to refugees. Labour will end the Tories’ ‘hostile environment’ policy that has caused such cruel and inhumane treatment of British citizens as well as asylum seekers and refugees.

“We are the only country in Europe to detain people in immigration detention centres indefinitely. Labour will end this shameful situation and close Yarl’s Wood and Brook House detention centres, investing the money spent on locking people up on services that support survivors of modern slavery, human trafficking and domestic violence instead."

It comes after news that the Scottish government has agreed to pledge over £100,000 in funding to help refugees who had been threatened with evictions.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “It is important that we ensure failed asylum seekers are getting the information they need about the support available to them once their asylum process comes to an end.“How we work together to do this has been a key part of the discussions the Immigration Minister has been having with Serco, Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government.”

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