As we set out in our letter, it is inappropriate and unhelpful to design a consultation on what is described as being the ‘biggest overhaul of the asylum. Those questions are generally presented in a leading way alongside highly unbalanced or misleading information. Moreover, the Home Office has released Facebook videos alongside a link to its survey, using inflammatory statements accompanied by emotive and cinematic music to encourage participation in the survey. These methods will invite bias into the consultation. There appears to be no mechanism for the government to gain a representative sample within the survey. Rather than a genuine attempt to canvass public opinion, this survey seems designed to legitimise the government's ready-made plans.
Neither the government's plan nor the consultation questions scrutinise the Home Office’s failures in relation to its current approach to the immigration and asylum system. Home Office decision-making is frequently poor and later found by the courts to have been flawed, and the Home Office has failed to learn lessons from countless critical reports by inspectors, parliamentary committees and those it has commissioned to investigate parts of the system.
We condemn the Home Secretary's use of using divisive and inflammatory language to describe the people that migrate to the UK. In a hostile and polarised climate with asylum-seekers increasingly the target of far-right organisations and activists, it is deeply irresponsible for the UK government to fan the flames of hatred in this way.