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Asylum-seeker waiting times has tripled under Patel's ‘disastrous leadership’

PRITI PATEL has been accused of disastrous leadership after official figures show that the number of asylum-seekers waiting six months for a decision on their claim has tripled under the Home Secretary’s reign. 

A total of 73,207 people have been waiting more than six months as of March 2022, according to the latest Home Office quarterly figures released today. 

This is more than triple the number since July 2019, when the Home Secretary took over from her predecessor Amber Rudd, which saw 12,678 people waiting for over six months, according to analysis of official figures by Amnesty International.  

The human rights group said that the asylum backlog has continued to rise during every quarter under Ms Patel’s leadership.

Amnesty’s refugee and migrant rights director Steve Valdez-Symonds said: “The Home Secretary’s disastrous leadership has run the asylum system into the ground.

“Priti Patel’s failed asylum policies have caused huge delays in the processing of claims, and thousands of people seeking a place of safety have been left in limbo and misery.”

He warned that worse is yet to come next month, when the Nationality and Borders Act comes into effect.

The new measures will allow the government to refuse to process the asylum claims of people who arrive via irregular routes. 

The figures also show that 75 per cent of asylum applications resulted in a positive decision, the highest acceptance rate in 30 years. 

Dr Peter William Walsh, senior researcher at the Migration Observatory, University of Oxford, said this “highlights that policies targeting asylum-seekers will inevitably affect some people who would be granted refugee status if their claim was processed in the UK.”  

A Home Office spokesperson said it was “working urgently” to speed up processing of claims, including through the creation of a new asylum action group.

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