GLASGOW’S seven MPs and the council leadership have raised fears with the Home Secretary of a looming destitution crisis among asylum seekers put up in hotels during lockdown.

Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, Jen Layden, equalities convenor and all the city’s Members of Parliament have signed the letter calling for action to ensure a plan is ready for coming out of lockdown to ensure hundreds are not destitute on the streets of Glasgow.

They have told Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, how those working with asylum seekers have serious concerns about the conditions in hotels.

Glasgow Times:

Around half of the homeless people currently in hotels in Glasgow are believed to come under the 'no recourse to public funds' category.

The letter states: “These practices have been widely documented in the media and include allegations about the lack of support for pregnant women and families; access to basic amenities and cash; inadequate care being provided; and a lack of appropriate support in place for those observing Ramadan.

“There must be plans in place to ensure that as we move out of lockdown that no one is left destitute and that everyone is housed appropriately.”

Ms Patel has been told of a 30 year-old Syrian man who died in the hotel he was being put up in. The cause of death is not yet known.

The SNP politicians said they appreciate the emergency situation but warned that long term plans were needed to avoid a crisis where they are left destitute.

The council wants a suspension of the rule that asylum seekers who have had their claim refused are not allowed to access public funds or publicly funded support.

Jen Layden, City convenor for Equalities, said: “Hotel accommodation is not a long term solution to accommodate asylum seekers in the city.

 “The concerns which have been raised with city politicians about the wellbeing of asylum seekers are serious and require attention.

 “We need an exit plan which ensures that the City Council and our partners are involved in developing long-term services and solutions for the asylum community in our city.

 “We cannot have a situation where at the end of lockdown these people are left destitute – especially as the UK Government still renders it a criminal offence for Councils like Glasgow to assist those asylum seekers. “

She said to continue with the no recourse to public funds law was a political choice but that the coronavirus crisis has shown that governments can be flexible.

Ms Layden added: “We are calling on the Home Secretary to change the No Recourse to Public Funding legislation so the city can provide support to asylum seekers.”