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Welsh MP calls on Sunak to correct ‘deeply misleading asylum backlog’ claim

16 Apr 2023 2 minute read
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons. UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

A Welsh MP says he is still waiting for the UK Prime Minister to correct false claim he made last year about asylum seekers.

Stephen Kinnock, MP for Aberavon and Shadow Minister for Immigration, told Nation.Cymru that it is “extremely disappointing” that Rishi Sunak, “has failed to correct the public record on the asylum backlog figures.”

In December 2022, when speaking in Parliament, Mr Sunak claimed that the backlog of asylum cases, the number of asylum cases awaiting a Home Office decision, had declined when in fact there had been a substantial increase.

“The Prime Minister claiming that the asylum backlog has halved – when it has in fact increased eight-fold from under 19,000 to 166,000 under the Conservative Government – is deeply misleading to the public,” Mr Kinnock said.

“It is a desperate attempt to disguise the Prime Minister’s failure to stop the channel crossings, his failure to return asylum seekers whose claims have been rejected, and his failure to process claims at anything like the rate they were being processed 10 years ago.

“As a result, asylum seekers are stuck in hotels for months on end, their mental health deteriorating, at a cost of £6m a day to the tax-payer.”

Mr Kinnock made the Point of Order in Parliament on 27 March and has since sent Mr Sunak a letter, “alerting him to these serious errors” he said.

Backlog

The UK’s asylum backlog has grown substantially in recent years.

The figures on 31 December 2022 include 132,182 main applicants awaiting an initial decision, or 160,919 people if family members applying with them are included.

A further 4,051 applications were awaiting further review, such as the outcome of an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal.

These figures exclude applications awaiting a judicial review or people whose asylum application has been unsuccessful.

Of the 132,000 main applicants awaiting an initial decision, 67% (around 89,000) had waited for more than six months.

The backlog of around 132,000 applications reflects a more than thirteen-fold increase compared to the end of 2012 when it stood at 9,871, with most of the increase happening in the last four years.

On 31 December 2018, the backlog stood at around 27,000 applications and increased by almost five times in four years.

The Downing Street press office has been approached for comment.


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Sue
Sue
10 months ago

It’s a shame Steven Kinnock feels the need to criticize on such an absolutely pointless topic that Rishi Sunak said, Last Year! Maybe it was just a simple error. Instead, why doesn’t he assist the government in trying to deter these economic migrants and put aside his petty comments? Come up with something useful instead. These migrants are after all, affecting the whole of the UK at 6m a day, and it is possible Labour might have to deal with them yet. Yikes.

Some1
Some1
10 months ago
Reply to  Sue

There’s not a lot that Labour or Sunak can do until the 52% who voted for it accept that it was leaving the Dublin Regulation with its first safe country rule that turned 300 small boat crossings into 45,000. Only partnership and cooperation with the EU can fix this

George Thomas
George Thomas
10 months ago

Someone said that next year will be the year that Tory supporting press downplay reporting on boat crossings and Labour supporting press start saying it’s an issue. The issue is the lack of safe means to claim asylum which leads to people taking advantage of vulnerable people and people trying to take advantage of the system; the slow, underfunded and cruel process those claiming asylum face once here; the attempts to stop people appealing while still in the UK; the lack of system for removing failed asylum seekers from the UK; and the lack of support after successful claims. Some… Read more »

Malcolm Jones
Malcolm Jones
10 months ago
Reply to  George Thomas

Why is Mr Kinnock standing up for something too do with Wales like fighting for a fair share of the crown estate but don’t rock the boat you might end up like your dad and be Lord Kinnock

Cameron Rioch.
Cameron Rioch.
10 months ago
Reply to  George Thomas

1. Downplaying reporting on the issue: no chance while Farage is working for GB News.

2. The Labour Plan: a complete and total opening of the floodgates.

Good job Starmer ‘s got Wales as a Nation of Sanctuary on England ‘s doorstep.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
10 months ago

“Anti-maths mindset” Treasury genius Sunak urges Britain to “prize numeracy”, how many billions did he lose !!!

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