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Home Office ‘loses’ 17,000 people whose asylum claims were withdrawn

Home Office ‘loses’ 17,000 people whose asylum claims were withdrawn

Home Office ‘loses’ 17,000 people whose asylum claims were withdrawn
Nov 29, 2023 1 min, 9 secs

Rishi Sunak has been accused of losing control of the UK’s borders after the Home Office admitted that it does not know the whereabouts of 17,000 people whose asylum claims have been withdrawn.

Amid a stalled Rwanda deportation scheme and rising costs for housing people seeking refuge in hotels, senior civil servants in the department were told by the Conservative MP and deputy party chair Lee Anderson they “hadn’t got a clue” after failing to provide answers on people seeking refuge in the UK or foreign offender removals.

His comments emerged an hour before the prime minister was accused by the Labour leader, Keir Starmer, of facing an “open revolt” from the Tories after “losing control of the borders”.

The permanent secretary at the Home Office, Sir Matthew Rycroft, told MPs that officials were currently in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, as they put the “finishing touches” to a new immigration deal, after the supreme court ruled against the government’s first agreement.

At prime minister’s questions, Starmer said Sunak had the “reverse Midas touch”, adding: “On their watch migration has just trebled and he is giving the house a lecture about targets.

The Labour leader pointed to claims by the former home secretary Suella Braverman that Sunak reneged on his agreement with her to introduce harsher immigration measures in exchange for her support in the 2022 Conservative leadership contest.

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