Home office minister Beverley Hughes has contradicted herself. She
has stated that she expects very few or no children of asylum
seekers whose applications have failed to be taken into care. This
implies that councils should not expect an extra burden. But at the
same time she has reassured local authorities they will be
reimbursed for the costs they incur when children are taken into
care, implying that the need will be significant. The government
can’t have it both ways; should councils expect a greater burden or
MPs on the home affairs select committee have obviously rumbled the
government and realised there is a serious issue to be addressed.
They asked for assurances that local authorities will not be faced
with having to look after large numbers of children.
The government’s tough stance on asylum issues is also reflected in
the removal of the right to judicial review as a means of appeal
against a refusal of asylum status, and the steady reductions in
So there are several issues for asylum campaigners to target and
they must not lose sight of the need to keep fighting on each one,
or, as Refugee Action warned, another unreasonable measure along
the lines of section 55 could slip through unopposed.