JEREMY Corbyn will meet asylum seekers threatened with eviction in Glasgow today as he calls for those fleeing persecution to be housed by public bodies instead of the private sector.

The Labour leader branded the treatment of refugees by the Home Office and private housing provider Serco “appalling”, with more than 300 facing being thrown out of their homes.

Earlier this month, Serco announced it was pausing its plans to change the locks following a public outcry and legal challenge.

The company, contracted by the Home Office, says it is paying accommodation for 330 asylum seekers in the city who have been denied the right to remain in the UK.

Mr Corbyn – who is currently on a four-day tour of Scotland – insisted private firms “have no business profiting from the detention of refugees and asylum seekers”.

He said: “This is not how our country should treat people seeking help. It is time for the Tories to end the failed privatisation agenda that is putting the public in danger.

“Time and again private profit is put ahead of the public interest. This has to end.”


He said Labour would end the “ugly and discredited system of private firms running immigration detention centres” and criticised the “cruel and inhumane” treatment of refugees.

He added: “Asylum seekers who have fled horrific conflict and violence and have since made the UK their home deserve our help and support, not persecution from profiteering private companies.

"I want to pay tribute to those who have responded and stood up to help these people. It is a moving example of solidarity and collective action.

"However, they have won just a temporary reprieve and we must now go on to the next stage of this campaign to protect and help these people.

"Theresa May’s government has failed to uphold our country’s moral duty to refugees. Labour will end the Tories’ ‘hostile environment’ policy that has caused such cruel and inhumane treatment of British citizens as well as asylum seekers and refugees.

“We are the only country in Europe to detain people in immigration detention centres indefinitely.”

Mr Corbyn said Labour would close immigration detention centres and invest the money in services “that support survivors of modern slavery, human trafficking and domestic violence instead”.

It comes as he faced calls to create a “progressive international” of socialists to counter the rise of the far-right.

The Labour leader revealed he was in touch with left-wing movements throughout Europe and the world, including US senator Bernie Sanders.

He has also been invited to the inauguration of Mexico’s new left-wing, anti-establishment president Andres Manuel López Obrador.

But at Edinburgh International Book Festival, former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis urged him to be “a bit more ambitious” and help create a worldwide movement.

He said this was necessary to counter the rise of the far-right, and argued “the fascists are increasingly united”.

Mr Varoufakis pointed to former Donald Trump strategist Steve Bannon’s efforts to bring together far-right movements and politicians across Europe, including Italy’s deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Austria's governing coalition.

Mr Corbyn agreed it was “important that we build that sense of international connection”.

Serco has said it welcomes legal challenges to its Glasgow evictions in order to clarify the law.

The company maintains that it is providing free accommodation and being left to "pick up the bills" for asylum seekers who overstay despite having their Home Office funding halted.

A Home Office spokesman said: “Asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute are provided with free, fully furnished accommodation while applications are considered. We also cover utility costs and provide a cash allowance to cover other essential living needs.

“Even if an asylum claim is failed, we will provide accommodation for those who would otherwise be destitute and who are temporarily unable to leave the UK because of a practical or legal obstacle.”

He said it was working closely with Glasgow City Council and other bodies to “ensure that the cases of failed asylum seekers are managed appropriately”.