SERCO said the best option for failed asylum seekers, it is planning to evict from their flats, is to go home.

The private firm contracted to house asylum seekers has announced it is to re-start its lock change programme putting hundreds of people on the streets.

It planned to evict 300 men and women who had their asylum case rejected, last year until a backlash and court appeal halted the evictions.

Serco has now said from next month is will start changing locks and evicting 30 people per month.

A spokesman for Serco said: “Ultimately, for many of the people concerned, the best solution may be the Assisted Voluntary Return Scheme under which the Home Office supports people who have lost their right to remain in the UK and need help to return to their home country.”

Serco lost the contract from the Home Office and said in order to return the properties to their owners the flats must be vacated first.

The Serco spokesman added: “In January, Serco was informed by the Home Office that it had been unsuccessful in its bid to supply accommodation for asylum seekers in Scotland from 2019 onwards, and by the end of September 2019 we will no longer have any people providing housing services in Glasgow, neither will we have a licence to provide accommodation.

“Accordingly, in the coming months we are going to have to return all the housing we rent in Glasgow to its owners at the end of the leases. We will therefore be restarting our lock-change programme so that properties may be returned to their owners with vacant possession in accordance with our contractual obligations.

“This is not a step we have taken lightly; we have explored many alternative solutions over the past twelve months, and we have been working with Glasgow City Council (GCC), the Home Office and the third sector to explore different ways forward.”

Susan Aitken , Leader of Glasgow City Council said the council is legally unable to help under UK law.

She said: “It is a sorry and utterly unacceptable state of affairs when a UK Government contract legally obliges its contractor to force people from their homes and leave public servants to choose between either breaking the law or allowing mass destitution on the streets of our city.”

Campaigners have reacted angrily to the news.

Robina Qureshi director of Positive action on Housing said: "We are shocked by the latest move by SERCO to resume lock change evictions. Rupert Soames and SERCO agreed publicly that they would not take any immediate action to evict after the Court of Session judgement last month, and would consult with “key partners. Neither of these happened, in fact, since April 2019, asylum seekers have come into our office in Glasgow with letters telling them to leave their accommodation immediately. Both refugees and asylum seekers have been intimidated into leaving their accommodation by SERCO sending out "eviction letters."