Today the HCP received a response to our complaint regarding the Home Office’s refusal to grant six of our volunteer lawyers entry to Yarl’s Wood IRC in November 2015.
The Home Office eventually replied after an unacceptably long response time (175 days when they aim for 20 working days). They acknowledged they were wrong to block the legal visits, but did not agree that they should compensate the HCP and its clients for the waste of time and money incurred by their unlawful actions.
The complaint has since escalated to Parliament, with local MP, Keir Starmer QC MP, writing to James Brokenshire MP, then Minister for Immigration. The HCP filed a complaint bundle with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and has been informed today that they are proposing to formally investigate the complaint.
The HCP’s primary intention is to improve the woefully inadequate provisions for access to justice within Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre. We therefore welcome the decision to commence a formal investigation and look forward to updates from the Parliamentary Ombudsman.