When the Commons debated the Immigration Bill yesterday I backed moves by a cross-party group of MPs to introduce a statutory limit on immigration detention; an issue on which I’ve campaigned for more than six years. I was Vice Chair of a cross-party Parliamentary inquiry into immigration detention that called for a 28-day time limit on immigration detention as more humane, more effective and less expensive.
In 2014 led a debate in the House of Commons where the report’s recommendations were approved, and continued to press the issue in a subsequent Immigration Bill Committee, on which I served. I’ve also written in the Guardian (here), am a Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Immigration Detention, and was pleased to be made a Detention Forum Champion for my work on the issue.
In the Commons I shared distressing evidence from our cross-party inquiry and called for the sort of community-based alternatives to detention that are practiced in countries from Australia to Sweden, and which are currently being piloted by the Home Office. Despite cross-party support, including two former Conservative Cabinet Ministers, the Government defeated yesterday’s amendment, but the campaign will continue.
See an extract from my comments below and read the full speech here.