Glasgow hotel stabbing report a ‘shocking indictment of the UK’s broken asylum system’, says minister

A damning report into hotel housing for asylum seekers is a “shocking indictment of the UK’s broken asylum system”, a Holyrood minister has told MSPs.

The report, published last week by Baroness Helena Kennedy KC, found a knife attack during the Covid lockdown in June 2020 was an “avoidable tragedy”. Six people were stabbed and Badreddin Abdalla Adam was shot dead by police after carrying out the attack at a Park Inn hotel housing asylum seekers.

A review commissioned by Refugees for Justice said on Friday the incident resulted from “the ill-planned decision to move asylum seekers in Glasgow out of their homes en-masse and into unsuitable accommodation”.

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In response to a question in Parliament from Scottish Greens MSP Maggie Chapman, foreign affairs minister Angus Robertson said the report demonstrated a need for change.

Protesters called for an end to the detention of asylum seekers in hotels after six people were injured in a knife attack at Park Inn Hotel in Glasgow in June 2020.
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He said: “It highlights the need for fundamental change, so that the UK upholds its responsibility to recognise and protect people who have been forced to flee persecution and treats them with compassion, dignity and human decency at all times.”

Mr Robertson said the Government would publish its response to the report. He said social justice secretary Shona Robison had written to the UK home secretary Suella Braverman seeking an “urgent meeting” to discuss the inquiry’s findings.

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Ms Chapman warned institutional accommodation "is clearly not enabling the right support to get to people in a timely way”.

She asked: "What more can the Scottish Government do while people are here to ensure that vulnerable adults and children, including survivors of trafficking, are not left in grossly inadequate institutional-style accommodation for indefinite periods of time without the vital specialist mental health support they need?”

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Mr Robertson pointed out the temporary housing of asylum seekers in the UK was not a devolved issue. He said Ms Robison had met with Baroness Kennedy last week, adding the Government was working with the Scottish Refugee Council on the New Scots Integration Strategy, which would be published next year.

He said: "People seeking asylum should be accommodated within communities, with access to the support and services they need to rebuild their lives. The Scottish Government will continue to raise concerns and continue to press for improvement to the UK asylum system.”

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