Tory MP meets with Serco bosses intent on causing Glasgow 'homeless crisis'
A Tory MP has been criticised after holding an exclusive Westminster dinner with Serco, the outsourcing giant facing protest over plans to evict hundreds of refugees from their homes in Glasgow.
In June Serco announced it would restart its controversial lock-changing programme, which was halted last year after a commitment from activist groups to resist evictions through direct action in the style of the famous Glasgow housing campaigner, Mary Barbour.
Glasgow City Council has previously warned the city could see a homelessness crisis if the plans were followed through.
Luke Graham, the Tory MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, booked one of the exclusive terrace dining rooms for the “Serco in Scotland Dinner,” The Morning Star reported.
The outsourcing giant provides housing for asylum seekers on behalf of the Home Office, however the company recently lost the contract.
Tenants' Union Living Rent said Serco were "hiding" in the bars of Westminster to avoid the people of Glasgow.
Living Rent organiser Sean Baillie said: “This private dinner is a sign of desperation at a time when Serco are closing offices across Glasgow to avoid accountability.
“Last year, Serco and the Home Office met in Glasgow airport and cancelled a fancy dinner in one of the city’s hotels to avoid the people of Glasgow. Now they are hiding in the discounted bars of Westminster.
“Our MPs should follow the lead of our Glasgow representatives such as Chris Stephens and Paul Sweeney and step up their efforts in forcing a suitable resolution.
“Shady corporate dinners aimed at lobbying support for multinational leeches who are inept at delivering public services will not be forgotten by the electorate.”
According to The Morning Star, guests at the exclusive parliamentary dining rooms can enjoy such dishes as roasted rump of English lamb with lettuce, cream minted polenta, samphire, chargrilled baby gem and apricot gel.
SNP MP Chris Stephens told The Morning Star that the evictions should be stopped immediately: “While hundreds of asylum-seekers are threatened with eviction in Glasgow, it’s galling that Tory MPs are prepared to welcome the very organisation planning to change the locks, which has caused distress to hundreds of refugees and asylum-seekers across Glasgow.
“Every person has the human right to housing, not being subjected to lock changes and forced evictions.
“This completely immoral and inhumane lock-change and eviction programme must be stopped, with immediate effect.”
A number of interdict orders have prevented the eviction of several refugees who had already been served with eviction notices by Serco, and more requests for such order are set to be heard on behalf of Shelter Scotland and the Govan Law Centre.
Image: Living Rent