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Contractor blasted over asylum-seeker welfare in Glasgow

A Home Office contractor was criticised yesterday for failing to answer questions about the welfare of asylum-seekers in Glasgow following a mass stabbing in the city on Friday. 

Concerns have been raised about housing provider Mears after the incident at a hotel which was being used to detain asylum-seekers in Glasgow during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Police shot and killed 28-year-old Sudanese man Badreddin Abadlla Adam, who had earlier stabbed six people in the Park Inn Hotel, on Friday. 

Those injured include three asylum-seekers, two hotel staff and Police Constable David Whyte. 

Reports over the weekend suggest the man killed had been suffering poor mental health, with warnings about his wellbeing raised in the days leading up to the attack. 

Glasgow’s No Evictions Network said the stabbing took place in the context of horrific conditions facing asylum-seekers, who had been removed from their homes, placed in hotels without social distancing in place and then left isolated without any financial support. 

Following Friday’s attack, vulnerable asylum-seekers were reportedly left on the streets of Glasgow without fresh clothing, food or access to bathrooms for hours before alternative accommodation was provided. 

When questioned repeatedly on the welfare of those staying in Glasgow, Mears referred the Star to the Home Office. 

The Home Office said it had worked with the local council to provide food and shelter for those affected, with “all of their essential living needs” met. 

Charities supporting refugees in Glasgow have called for a public inquiry to be held to establish the full details of conditions for asylum-seekers in the city. 

Robina Qureshi of Positive Action in Housing said: “These are highly vulnerable people, many have experienced torture who, under Mears’s watch so far, have been pushed to the very limit to what human beings are capable of. They can’t pretend this is not related to policy, of both Mears and the Home Office.” 

City politicians have said they plan to quiz the ministers responsible about the poor conditions which asylum-seekers have had to live with for months. 

SNP MP Chris Stephens said: “There are major discrepancies between what the Home Office and Mears are saying and [what] those on the ground [are].

“We want to make sure that people caught up in the incident have the care and support they need at this present time, after what was a very traumatic event.”

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