The Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs has called on the Home Secretary Priti Patel to apologise for her “inhumane” immigration proposals and her rhetoric over the treatment of refugees.
Home Office documents, leaked earlier this month, revealed that the Home Secretary and officials are looking into options for ‘processing’ asylum seekers offshore, including on islands in the South Atlantic, retired ferries and even decommissioned oil rigs. One proposal involved using machines to generate waves to stop migrants crossing the English Channel from France.
The Mayor compared the leaked Home Office proposals to recent ‘hostile environment’ controversies and urged the Home Secretary to “show some compassion”.
The Government’s hostile policy and rhetoric towards asylum seekers was rebuffed by the House of Lords last week, with the Government’s immigration bill seeing a defeat. Peers voted in favour of an amendment, proposed by Lord Alf Dubs, to ensure that the right to family reunion would continue after the transition period, meaning that unaccompanied child refugees would still be reunited with close relatives in the UK.
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “The Home Secretary really should apologise for her inhumane immigration proposals. Moving refugees to holding pens on remote islands thousands of miles away and using wave generators against small and unsafe boats speaks volumes about her attitude towards these vulnerable people.
“I’m very grateful to peers like Lord Alf Dubs for trying to add some compassion into the Government’s immigration bill. Clearly ministers haven’t learned any of the lessons from their hostile environment policies.
“Hopefully the Home Secretary will listen and start to show some compassion.”