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Charity warns Alex Chalk to act over legal aid for immigration and asylum

Charity warns Alex Chalk to act over legal aid for immigration and asylum

Charity warns Alex Chalk to act over legal aid for immigration and asylum
Sep 17, 2023 57 secs

The letter, sent to Alex Chalk by Public Law Project (PLP), says there are particular shortages in north-west and south-west England, the latter having capacity for fewer than 300 cases a year despite being home to the Bibby Stockholm, which can house about 500 people.

The PLP found that charities supporting refugees and asylum seekers it spoke to for an accompanying report made 16 attempts on average before securing a legal aid lawyer.

Without it, the Home Office and [immigration] tribunal risk making decisions that condemn people to persecution abroad, or destitution in the UK due to ‘hostile environment’ measures.

PLP would demand that the lord chancellor take urgent action, Rourke said, and “reluctantly prepare legal proceedings” if he failed to carry our his statutory and constitutional duties.

“This type of legal aid helps people escaping trauma, such as persecution, trafficking, and domestic abuse, to present their cases to the Home Office or appeal to the tribunal.”

A government spokesperson said it had invested £44m in the last year in immigration legal aid, adding: “ As a result of our action, the number of providers has increased in recent months, from 153 in March to 173 in September.

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