Archbishop of Glasgow hits out at forced evictions of asylum seekers

Support us and go ad-free

Forced evictions of unsuccessful asylum seekers have been condemned as “regrettable and harsh” by the Archbishop of Glasgow.

Philip Tartaglia accused the UK Government of “bringing indignity and suffering on the refugees and asylum seekers” in a strongly worded letter to the newly appointed home secretary.

Calling for evicted people to have access to “decent accommodation in accordance with their human dignity”, Scotland’s most senior Catholic addressed a plea to Priti Patel to stop making people homeless.

Priti Patel comments
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia has written to Home Secretary Priti Patel (Yui Mok/PA)

In his letter, the archbishop wrote: “I am advised that the policy of forced evictions of refugees and asylum seekers in Glasgow is now being implemented by Serco on behalf of the UK Government.

“This measure is regrettable and harsh, bringing indignity and suffering on the refugees and asylum seekers, and dismay to the citizens of Glasgow.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

“I appeal to you not to make refugees and asylum seekers homeless but to provide for them decent accommodation in accordance with their human dignity and human rights.”

The eviction of asylum seekers across the city denied leave to remain began when Serco started changing the locks to the accommodation of the approximately 300 people affected.

A legal challenge arguing the evictions would be illegal without a court order was dismissed by a judge earlier this year but is now being appealed against.

Serco, which had revenues in 2018 of more than £2.8 billion, claims people staying in properties without government funding is costing the housing provider an estimated £1 million a year.

Julia Rogers, Serco’s managing director for immigration, said: “We very much regret the distress this will cause but hope that it will be understood that we cannot be expected to provide free housing indefinitely to hundreds of people who have been unsuccessful in their asylum claims and most of whom have no legal right to remain in the UK.

“We call on all parties to work with us constructively to help people navigate their way through to a new future beyond the asylum system, and we will be making funds available to charities to support this work.”

Judith Robertson, the chairwoman of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, which is involved in the legal challenge, said: “This case raises serious human rights implications for people who are already in a deeply vulnerable position.

“Nobody should be left deliberately destitute and homeless by the actions of the state or by organisations delivering services on the state’s behalf.

“Locking people out of their homes, leaving them destitute and vulnerable on Scotland’s streets, is, in the commission’s view, a clear violation of these human rights responsibilities.”

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us