‘Urgent’ asylum seeker housing review under way after SNP MP raises issue

THE Home Office has said an urgent review is under way into concerns about the housing of asylum seekers in hotels, following a knife attack in Glasgow.

Minister Chris Philp said officials from the UK department have been tasked with examining the issues raised following talks with politicians from the Scottish city.

Badreddin Abadlla Adam, 28, from Sudan, was shot dead by police after his attack at the Park Inn Hotel in Glasgow last month, which left six people injured including 42-year-old police constable David Whyte. Staff at the hotel were told of residents’ concerns regarding the suspect’s mental health the night before he carried out the attack.

It is understood that he was unhappy with the conditions at the Park Inn and shared frustrations about money, food and noise from neighbouring rooms.

Asylum seekers were moved into the hotels at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking in the Commons yesterday, SNP MP Patrick Grady, said: “The reality is, forcing over 300 vulnerable asylum seekers into hotels by the contractor Mears has really significantly damaged trust in the system.

The MP for Glasgow North continued: “To rebuild that trust, there has to be an independent review, so can he [Philp] tell us what steps is he taking to make sure that happens?”

Philp replied: “He’s right, 341 people were moved at the end of March from temporary serviced apartments into hotel accommodation because the temporary serviced apartments were considered unsuitable bearing in mind coronavirus.

“He’s also right I have been meeting with Glasgow MPs, and will continue to do so.

“I’ve met twice with Aileen Campbell, the cabinet secretary, and with the leader of Glasgow City Council, and I’ve committed to continue such meetings going forward.

“There are some specific concerns which he and his colleagues have raised, concerning the hotel accommodation, and I’ve asked officials in the Home Office to urgently look into those and to report back to me.”

A resident at the hotel, called John, told afterwards of the horrific scene he was met with after being awoken by screams for help on the day of the attack.

“I was sleeping and heard loud noises – women screaming and men screaming for help”, he said. I got worried and I came down. I pressed the lift button – it was covered in blood. I took the stairs and came down and there was blood everywhere. The whole reception was covered in blood.”

Mears Group, the company paid by the Home Office to house asylum seekers, has said it would try to get those living in hotels back to houses and flats as soon as possible.

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