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SCOTTISH MPs called today for a “radical overhaul” of the asylum system following revelations that refugees in Glasgow remain in hotels, more than a week after a horrific knife attack.
Concerns have been raised after a new Asylum Accommodation and Support by the National Audit Office (NAO) report outlined delays in moving asylum-seekers on from temporary accommodation.
The NAO’s analysis highlighted Home Office data showing that 981 asylum-seekers who had arrived by the end of December were still in initial accommodation on March 24.
Politicians have now backed radical reform of the system, as answers are sought about ongoing issues in Scotland.
SNP shadow immigration minister Stuart McDonald said: “This report clearly shows that the Home Office did the bare minimum to address the serious and many concerns raised by MPs and organisations across the UK about the asylum accommodation system.
“Over-reliance on hotels should not have been allowed and we need urgent action from the Home Office to clamp down on it.”
Vulnerable asylum-seekers who were removed from their homes in April continue to be held at various sites across Glasgow after months without financial assistance.
Six people were left injured after the violent assaults in the Park Inn Hotel last Friday, with attacker Badreddin Abadlla Adam shot dead by police.
Contractors and the Home Office had assured those removed from their homes they would be returned to independent living this week, but many remain isolated in hotel rooms.
Scottish Refugee Council chief executive Sabir Zazai said that he was extremely concerned about the situation and worried about the well-being of those stuck in hotels.
“Things could get even worse if [housing provider] Mears and the Home Office don’t act with the utmost urgency to get people into safe, secure homes and do absolutely everything they can to avoid any further tragedies.”
The Home Office said it was considering the recommendations in the report and that the “health and well-being of those seeking protection has and always will be the priority and we will continue to provide support to those who need it.”
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