Parliament protest over plight of failed asylum seekers

A protest camp has been set up in Parliament Square to draw attention to the plight of failed asylum seekers.

A web designer and media consultant are sharing a tent and surviving on only a £20 Red Cross food parcel for a fortnight.

Ben Gibbs and Ben Gilchrist, both from Manchester, say they are acting out of solidarity with some of the most destitute people in Britain, whose treatment they consider immoral.

They hope to meet MPs and ministers to argue for a change to the policy which abandons people a fortnight after their asylum application has been rejected. There are 230,000 failed asylum seekers in Britain who are too frightened to return home, said Mr Gibbs, 27. The Government has no idea where many of them are and they do not qualify for any support.

Mr Gilchrist, 30, added: "The policy of deliberate destitution is both inhumane and ineffective. Our aim is to convince MPs of the need for policy changes to stop such destitution.

"If people can't return home, they should be given the means to live until they are either able to return safely, or granted leave to remain here on appeal." The pair have set up camp alongside peace protester Brian Haw.

SOURCE

Tarn Lass

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