GLASGOW MPs say they have “no confidence” in the Home Office and its handling of investigations into asylum seeker accommodation during the pandemic.

The seven SNP MPs in Scotland’s largest city have urged the department to launch an open investigation into the issue, rather than an internal review, and share thefindings with the council and Scottish Government. 

It comes after asylum seekers were moved from their temporary homes into hotels, with inadequate food and no money at the start of the pandemic.

Many suffered mental health problems, and one man took his own life. Another man attacked several people inside one of the hotels and was later shot dead by police.

The MPs have also temporarily withdrawn their engagement with the department following a meeting today, during which they claim the Home Office would not discuss the review or confirm if they would see the final report.

They said they had hoped to be given the chance to share the views of their constituents during the meeting.

Afterwards, Chris Stephens, Alison Thewliss, Carol Monaghan, Anne McLaughlin, Stewart McDonald, Patrick Grady and David Linden said: “It is becoming increasingly difficult to engage with the Home Office in good faith.

"To be blunt, we have no confidence in the UK government to take action for asylum seekers if they won’t even properly investigate what the problems are or publish their evaluation.  

“Asylum seekers are already reporting that they feel intimidated to speak out without a representative present. Measures must be taken so they have confidence that their individual cases are not jeopardised.

“Offering piecemeal internal assessments completely misses the mark - and does a huge disservice to those who need constructive and meaningful action. The Home Office has cannot continue to dodge scrutiny on this.

“UK government departments have a habit of hiding behind corporate language rather than taking decisive action. At the heart of this matter is people - and the Tory government simply cannot ignore the devastating impact that this virus has had on asylum seekers in particular.

“We call on the Home Office to see sense and commit to a full, independent investigation, outline their process and to ensure their findings are shared with Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “We take the wellbeing of all those in the asylum system extremely seriously. We have taken many measures to reduce the risk of transmission in these unprecedented times.

“We regret that these MPs have not taken the opportunity to engage with this process despite us asking to meet with them in good faith. The review has not yet concluded and we would encourage the MPs to engage constructively to help us make any necessary improvements, which we are committed to do.”