I visited a local asylum accommodation to support the families currently resident there but was asked to leave shortly after my arrival. It is worrying that Home Office contractors continue to try and stop MPs scrutinising conditions and talking to constituents. This is becoming a bit of a theme. The same thing happened when I attempted to visit the other asylum accommodation in our constituency last year to check-in with families and help them access healthcare and education.
As the Government fails to address the backlog of asylum claims, people are being warehoused in increasingly dangerous conditions (as we saw at Manston) or stuck in hotels and hostels with very little regard for their health, dietary, cultural and personal needs. Meanwhile, the outsourcing companies responsible for these sites are making a mint. Whilst people live off £1 a day in miserable conditions and are denied refugee status by delays in the asylum system, directors of Clearsprings, the company responsible for asylum accommodation, were treated to eye watering dividends of almost £28 million last year.
We need to replace this inhumane profiteering with a system which enables people to rebuild their lives in safety. That means safe routes, faster claims processing, closing down death traps like Manston and Napier, and allowing people to work whilst claims are processed.