The Home Office has come under mounting pressure to conduct an independent inquiry into "deadly accommodation" arrangements that are being faced by refugees and asylum seekers in Glasgow. 

Seven city MPs walked out of a meeting with government officials on Friday within ten minutes into crisis talks as it became apparent the department would not be committing to an independent probe.

It is the second time for the local representatives to storm a meeting organised with officials amid discussions of a proposed "evaluation" into the impact of COVID-19 on asylum seekers.

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: Asylum seekers in Glasgow left 'malnourished' with food not fit for human consumption

The group previously walked out of a meeting with John Taylor of Mears Group on June 26, citing “trust issues” - only a few hours before the Park Inn Incident.

Refugee, migrant, housing and human rights charity Positive Action in Housing has since stated it will no longer be co-operating with the department as it also repeats calls for a full, independent inquiry into the housing conditions faced by refugees and asylum seekers in Glasgow. 

This comes after the death of 30-year-old Adnan Olbeh while under the care of the Home Office and the Park Inn incident, where one man was shot dead and six people were seriously injured following a knife attack in the city centre hotel.

Glasgow East MP, David Linden - who was one of seven MPs to walk out during the crisis talks - has said the seven local representatives will not settle for anything less than an independent inquiry "not conducted by the Home Office".

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: Glasgow stabbing: Concerns were raised about conditions in Park Inn Hotel

He told the Glasgow Times: “It became very, very apparent early on in the meeting that this wasn’t an inquiry but essentially an internal evaluation. That’s just not something that we are particularly comfortable with.

“We’re not deliberately trying to walk away from things. We want to work with the Home Office to improve the conditions for people who come to seek refuge in our city.

"As a group of seven MPs, we took a decision in solidarity with each other that we weren’t going to be part in some sort of Home Office cover-up.

“That’s why we have paused our engagement with the Home Office.

“I am very uncomfortable with the Home Office marking their own homework. It has been quite clear that for many years the Home Office’s treatment of asylum seekers has been substandard in Glasgow. They do not work with the local authority who are trying their absolute best to make sure that people feel welcome and accommodated in Glasgow.

“I’m at the stage where I don’t think anything less than an independent inquiry – not conducted by the Home Office – will do.

“It became very apparent quite quickly into the start of the meeting that a report would be written and it would go onto a shelf in Whitehall and gather dust over the next few years.

"I looked at myself in the mirror as an MP, representing the most vulnerable people in our city, and I thought that walking out was the right thing to do."

Glasgow North MP, Patrick Grady has called on the Home Office to engage "transparently" in "good faith" amid its evaluation of housing conditions of asylum seekers in Glasgow.

Glasgow Times:

He said: "The coronavirus pandemic has left many asylum seekers particularly exposed and vulnerable, and the actions of the Home Office haven’t helped at all. 

"Instead of the Home Office engaging transparently and in good faith, it seems as local representatives we’re facing hostility for asking questions about decisions that led to asylum seekers being cooped up on hotels throughout lockdown and some of the devastating consequences those decisions have contributed to. 

"I’ll keep working with MPs, MSPs and the City Council to make sure Glasgow can continue to offer welcome and refuge to those who need it most."

A Home Office spokesman said: “We take the wellbeing of all those in the asylum system extremely seriously. We have taken many measures to reduce the risk of transmission during this unprecedented public health emergency, and have offered free, fully furnished accommodation to all asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute.

“Positive Action In Housing have never been part of the evaluation. However, this work has not yet concluded and we would encourage MPs and organisations to engage constructively to help us make any necessary improvements, which we are committed to do.”