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Scotland and Wales told to do more to ease the small boats crisis as migrants cross illegally to British shores


Home Secretary James Cleverly has accused the Scottish and Welsh administrations of not pulling their weight over the distribution of asylum seekers.

In letters directed to Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf and the outgoing Welsh leader Mark Drakeford, Mr Cleverly said that while England houses 16 asylum seekers for every 10,000 people, Scotland takes only eight and Wales just nine.

In his letter to Mr Yousaf, the Home Secretary wrote: ‘This issue extends right across Great Britain, and it is essential that each part of the country plays its part.

‘Providing safe and appropriate accommodation to those who claim asylum will help you deliver that aim and so I look forward to your support in going further in Scotland… Therefore, I am writing to ask for your support in rapidly increasing the asylum accommodation estate in Scotland.

‘Reaching parity between our nations on the number of asylum seekers per capita is the only way to deliver fair and equitable asylum accommodation.’

In letters directed to Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf and the outgoing Welsh leader Mark Drakeford, James Cleverly said that while England houses 16 asylum seekers for every 10,000 people, Scotland takes only eight and Wales just nine (File Photo)

In letters directed to Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf and the outgoing Welsh leader Mark Drakeford, James Cleverly said that while England houses 16 asylum seekers for every 10,000 people, Scotland takes only eight and Wales just nine (File Photo)

In his letter to Mr Yousaf, the Home Secretary wrote: 'This issue extends right across Great Britain, and it is essential that each part of the country plays its part'

In his letter to Mr Yousaf, the Home Secretary wrote: ‘This issue extends right across Great Britain, and it is essential that each part of the country plays its part’

He made similar points in his latter to Mr Drakeford: ‘I trust we can continue to work collaboratively together this year to help address the challenges we collectively face.’

It follows Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper’s attack over Rishi Sunak’s record on tackling the issue of small boat migrants in the Channel, which the Prime Minister made one of his five policy pledges. Ms Cooper pointed out that figures showed that a third of all the small boat arrivals since 2018 have now taken place since Mr Sunak entered Downing Street.

The milestone was reached after 52 individuals crossed the Channel by small boat on Friday, taking the total number of arrivals since Mr Sunak became Prime Minister to 38,668 – more than a third of the 115,927 that have crossed the Channel since the small boats crisis began in January 2018. Ms Cooper said: ‘From the recession to record NHS waiting lists to small boats, the very pledges that Rishi Sunak asked to be judged against now lie in tatters.

‘No wonder the people of Kingswood and Wellingborough told him last week that they are sick of 14 years of Tory failure, and want the change that only a Labour government will bring.

‘These latest figures on small boats show that Rishi Sunak isn’t the solution – he is part of the problem. Time and again he goes for gimmick rather than getting a grip.’

She added: ‘By focusing solely on getting off a few symbolic flights to Rwanda at massive cost to the taxpayer, he has taken his eye off the vital task of stopping the criminal smuggler gangs.’



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