I welcome the letter calling for an end to the destitution of asylum seekers whose applications have been refused but cannot return home (Faith leaders call on Government to end deliberate destitution of asylum seekers, News, December 23).

In 2008, I asked Iain Duncan Smith MP to investigate the failings of the asylum system. He acknowledged that destitution was a major problem and, through his Centre for Social Justice, set up a committee of which I was the vice-chairman. I wrote the section on voluntary bodies that helped the destitute. I recall meeting a strong Christian African woman who had fled her country after escape from prison for her political activities. She wept as she told me she now had to resort to prostitution to survive.

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