Thank you for contacting me about the Refugee Action Campaign.
As I understand it, the Home Office has discussed Refugee Action’s report with the charity itself, and will continue this dialogue as it examines the detailed findings. Complaints about performance failures are taken seriously, and there are robust procedures in place to inspect, investigate and resolve issues when specific information is received.
I should also highlight that asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute can apply for free accommodation and cash support to cover their essential living needs. If they have an emergency need for accommodation they can ask to be put in initial accommodation while their applications are being processed and the vast majority of such requests are processed on the same day.
On the issue of asylum seekers being granted the right to work, I do not believe it is appropriate to allow asylum seekers to work in the UK. However, permission is granted for an asylum seeker to work in one of the jobs on the shortage occupation list if their claim has not been decided after 12 months, through no fault of their own. I believe that this is fair and reasonable, as it protects the resident labour market and ensures that access to jobs is prioritised for British citizens and those with leave to remain, including refugees.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
EDWARD LEIGH MP