I am very concerned by the removal of local Zimbabwean asylum seekers in Sheffield, considering the increasing repression of opponents by the Harare regime. As well as taking up the cases of individual constituents, I have pressed the Government to suspend removals. You can see my questions and the answers I received here and here.

A number of constituents also contacted me about reports that asylum seekers with outstanding claims were being unexpectedly met with officials from the Zimbabwean Embassy when they reported to the Home Office at Vulcan House in Sheffield. After speaking with the individuals concerned, I took legal advice and it seems that the Home Office is in contravention of the Immigration Rules and its own policy on providing a positive and secure environment in which asylum claimants feel able to disclose sensitive information to support their claim. I have therefore written to the Immigration Minister asking for her to investigate this as a matter of urgency.

In the light of the Windrush scandal, I was also concerned about Home Office plans for a mass deportation to Jamaica and challenged the Home Secretary, asking him to personally review everyone on the flight. After pressure from MPs and others the flight was abandoned and several of those due for deportation were reprieved.

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