Further chaos in the Home Office this week as it emerged that the asylum seekers who were housed temporarily at the Manston centre were placed in hotels up and down the country. But, crucially, this was done without alerting NHS bodies, MPs, councils and other key stakeholders who would need to give these vulnerable people support. This is an issue that the Public Accounts Committee raised in November 2020 and urged the Government to address. I pressed the Home Office Minister over the continued failure to do so (see here). This is just another chapter in the failures of this Government on asylum and immigration. I’ll keep urging the Government to step up and address these issues.
The Public Accounts Committee looked at support for vulnerable adolescents. Support is patchy across government and it is very difficult to know who is in charge of ensuring that this cohort of young people get the support they need. See here to watch the hearing. The committee also looked at the chaos at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency during COVID-19 and the delay in issuing driving licences (see here). Look out for those reports next year.
I was pleased to welcome two Hackney businesses to Westminster this week for a business reception held by the Leader of the Opposition, Keir Starmer MP. E5 Bakehouse and Five Points Brewery are two stars in the Hackney firmament and it was a pleasure to host them. Don’t forget Small Business Saturday is coming up on the 3 December – see here for further details. It’s a real opportunity to support your local small businesses if out Christmas shopping in the next few weeks.