Government says UKBA letter was ‘inappropriate’

Block of flats  c. Jenny Wicks
Glasgow blocks of flats

Please note: Information for people who are unsure about their accommodation is available in our advice section. This will be updated as and when we receive further information from the UK Border Agency.

In a session at Westminster this week [December 1], Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said that the letter sent to people seeking asylum who are tenants of Glasgow City Council on 5 November was ‘inappropriate’ and ‘regrettable’.

Mundell made this statement in response to a question from Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson. He said: ‘There is a recognition that the correspondence was inappropriate, and a number of measures have been taken. For example, everyone affected will have at least 14 days' notice if they have to move. Progress has been made. The initial letter was regrettable, but the situation will be better in future.’

Dignity and respect

While we are aware that there have been reports about this matter in the newspapers and through online networks throughout the last weeks, unfortunately we are unable to provide any official update until we receive information directly from the UK Border Agency.

John Wilkes, our chief executive, welcomed the comments and said: ‘On Monday, 29 November we met with the Scottish Affairs Select Committee as they carried out an enquiry on the matter. We hope the enquiry, due to report soon, will make UKBA recognise its duties to treat people with dignity and respect and also prevent a situation like this happening again.

One month on

‘We understand that negotiations are going on between UKBA and the City Council and other potential housing providers but until the detail of that has been agreed, for the people affected, there is still confusion, anxiety and fear.

‘It is nearly a month since these letters were issued. As winter bites, and we approach the festive period when many support services across the city will be closed or on reduced hours, we call on the UKBA to make every effort to ensure people will be able to stay in their homes.’