CAMPAIGNERS have raised fears over a fresh wave of asylum seeker evictions in Glasgow after a legal challenge fell at the first hurdle.

Two women launched a case against the Home Office and its contractor Serco after tenants refused refugee status were told their locks would be changed last summer.

But the bid has now been dismissed by a Court of Session judge.

Robina Qureshi, director of refugee homelessness charity Positive Action in Housing, said she had “no doubt” lock-changes would start up again, and raised concerns “it’s going to be worse”.

She said: “Lock-change evictions without court orders look to be the norm in Glasgow for the next ten years, which is all part of the UK Government’s hostile environment policy. Serco can safely resume lock changes without court orders or due process. There is no protection for refugee families and individuals.”

She added: “Glasgow is therefore set to see an increased number of destitute refugees and asylum seekers in the coming weeks and months while Serco profits from the misery of asylum seekers, as a result of the Court of Session judgment.”

The Home Office provides free accommodation to asylum seekers while applications are being considered, with the contract for this currently operated by the outsourcing firm Serco.

However, controversy erupted last summer when six people were issued with eviction notices informing them their locks would be changed. Serco said it was forced to act after paying for housing for up to 300 asylum seekers in Glasgow who had been denied the right to remain in the UK.

Govan Law Centre launched a bid to overturn the move, insisting eviction was unlawful without a court order.

Its action was in the name of two women: Kurdish Iraqi national Shakar Ali and Kurdish Iranian national Lana Rashidi.

Ms Rashidi said she suffered a miscarriage in May last year due to the “the stress and mental anguish caused by the constant threats of eviction from [Serco]”.

However, the case was dismissed by Court of Session judge Lord Tyre in a 29-page ruling which found “neither of the pursuers has made out a relevant case for any of the orders sought”. He said Serco’s process had not breached the two women’s human rights.

Govan Law Centre said it was “very disappointed” for its clients.

A Serco spokesman welcomed the judgement, adding: “Serco will not be taking any immediate action as a consequence of this decision, but will now discuss with the Home Office, Glasgow City Council and our other partners how best to proceed, given that there continues to be a very significant number of people in Glasgow whose claim for asylum has been refused by the UK Government and who are continuing to receive the benefit of free accommodation, paid for by Serco, some for months, even years.”

Serco’s Home Office contract in Scotland will be taken over by Mears Group after September.

A Home Office spokeswoman said it will continue to work closely with partners to “ensure that those who have no right to be in the UK leave their accommodation in a safe and secure way”. She added: “We are working with Glasgow City Council to agree and implement a support advice referral process for those at risk of potential eviction.”

Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken said it would continue to press the Home Office “for a firm commitment that we will not see a repeat of the kind of threats made by Serco last summer”.