THE HOME Office is facing criticism for failing to act despite warnings over the conditions refugees are being housed in.

It comes after yesterday’s horrific attack at a Glasgow city centre hotel which has left six people injured, and the suspected attacker shot dead.

A source close to the incident told the Herald the attacker had been staying at the hotel, and the incident was “contained within the asylum seeker and refugee community”.

They said: “I know the conditions these people have been facing has been appalling. The council, and other politicians have been raising concerns about it as well as local campaigners and charities.

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“I understand the person who committed this attack was part of that community and had been staying in the hotel. Clearly these conditions have had an effect. on their mental state.”

The Park Inn Hotel, the site of the violence, was one of many hotels around the city being used to house refugees and asylum seekers during the coronavirus crisis.

The controversial decision by Mears Group, a contractor used by the Home Office, to move people from temporary accommodation into hotels had been previously met with staunch criticism.

Protests were held by campaign group No Evictions Network Glasgow earlier this month, which prompted counter-protests by far-right activists. Several people were arrested after descending on a rally intended to protest for better housing conditions for asylum seekers.

At the time Nicola Sturgeon said “racist thugs shame Scotland” and added: “And all of us should unite to say that welcoming refugees and asylum seekers is part of who we are.”

Last night Robina Qureshi Director of the Refugee and migrant homelessness charity Positive Action in Housing said the people staying in the hotel are “very desperate people” who had no access to money or support.

She told the Herald the Home Office needed to investigate what has happened, not only relating to the attack, but also why refugees and asylum seekers have been treated this way.

She said: “There needs to be an investigation into why 370 vulnerable people were forcibly moved from their homes into hotels all over Glasgow and had their money withdrawn.

“Questions need to be asked about why the Mears Group did not do vulnerability assessments before uprooting a vulnerable community, and in fact arguably drove them to further despair by taking away money and forcing people to stay in a hotel room literally 24/7, when they had a home.

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“A suicidal man from Syria died in one of these hotels and now this...”

“I can only tell you we are not surprised that something happened there, because there are some very vulnerable people being housed there.

“Our offices are 100 yards from the hotel... it is one of five that they forcibly moved people to during the pandemic.

There are 70-90 asylum seekers living in that hotel. It is dominated by asylum seekers, there is nobody else staying there.”

In a statement, Positive Action in Housing said: "The Park Inn Hotel, West George Street, Glasgow is one of several hotels used controversially by Mears Group to house asylum seekers moved by Mears from temporary homes into hotels without any money at all.

“Syrian Refugee Adnan Elbi died last month in Mclays Hotel, a suspected suicide, in one of the hotels alongside Park Inn.

“[There are] very desperate people living there including several of our service users.

“Adnan was one of 370 asylum seekers forcibly moved into hotels with no social distancing and no money.Park Inn Hotel is one of them. [It is] also close to where far-right activity has taken place.

“Only yesterday, the Mears Group admitted to Scottish MPs that they had failed to do vulnerability assessments of asylum seekers who they forcibly moved.”

Seven SNP MPs previously wrote to the Home Secretary about their concerns for people living in the hotels, with Glasgow MP Chris Stephens this week writing on their behalf to immigration compliance minister Chris Phillip MP seeking clarity and requested a meeting.

It came following a debate in the House of Commons on the conditions, after which Mr Stephens said he felt many questions remained unanswered.

Mears has repeatedly deflected claims about poor conditions in the accommodation, and emailed MPs saying their measures had “proven effective” in handling the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Stephens said it was “imperative for ministers to answer clear questions” and added: “There are now too many discrepancies between Mears and Ministers claims, and what MPs are being briefed.

“ It is quite clear that what Mears are claiming and briefing ministers is not the reality on the ground. Various media outlets, the various support charities for asylum seekers, nor constituents cannot all be wrong.

“I have no concerns about the credibility of any of the charities or campaigns raising concerns here, or had any suspicion about inaccuracies.”

Last night MPs, MSPs and councillors spoke of their shock following the incident.

Humza Yousaf tweeted: “ The incident in Glasgow is not being treated by Police as terrorism.

“Depressingly yet predictably some are using horrific incident to further their far-right agenda. Glasgow won’t stand for your divisive hatred, so don’t even try it.

“Let’s keep victims & families in our thoughts.”

Eva Bolander, SNP councillor for the area told the Herald: “I’m so shocked and saddened that something like this has happened in the city. I feel for the refugees and asylum seekers, who have been very confined in the accommodation they have been given.”

Alister Jack, the Secretary of State for Scotland said: “I would like to thank Glasgow’s emergency services for all they have done today in dealing what was clearly a dangerous and violent situation. My thoughts are with them and everyone else affected, including the injured police officer and other innocent victims.”

The Scottish Refugee Council also tweeted saying: “Like everyone else, we are seriously worried about the situation at the Park Inn. We’re trying to get as much info as possible from Police Scotland and our thoughts are with everyone affected.

“Anyone from refugee/ asylum community who needs us please call our helpline.”

Mears referred all queries relating to the incident yesterday to the Home Office.

A Home Office spokeswoman would not comment on the criticism, but said: “We are aware of an incident at West George Street in Glasgow, which is currently being investigated by the police.”