DAILY MAIL COMMENT: It’s time to stop this legal merry-go-round around immigration
For years, successive Tory prime ministers have grappled in vain with the seemingly intractable issue of illegal immigration.
Any attempts to crack down on people entering the UK unfairly have been met with predictable wails from the Left – which would prefer us to have open borders.
Just look at recent attempts by the House of Lords – over-represented by Labour and Lib Dem appointees – to sabotage the Government’s Illegal Migration Bill to see how desperate the liberal establishment is to thwart the Government’s efforts.
But one of the biggest obstacles ministers have faced has been the swathes of human rights lawyers who, with the help of meddling judges in Strasbourg, have used every legal loophole in the book to help asylum seekers remain here indefinitely.
Today, our investigation lays bare the reality of these dishonest – not to say highly lucrative – practices, revealing widespread and blatant abuse of the rules by lawyers and legal representatives at registered solicitors’ firms.
Any attempts to crack down on people entering the UK unfairly have been met with predictable wails from the Left – which would prefer us to have open borders
In one particularly shocking case, a legal adviser asked our undercover reporter for £10,000 to invent a horrific back-story for his asylum application, including claims of sexual torture, beatings, slave labour, false imprisonment and death threats which had left him suicidal, even providing him with anti-depressants from his office to use as ‘evidence’ of his psychological trauma.
Last week, a survey revealed that the Illegal Migration Bill enjoys majority support among every social and political group – including Labour voters.
Regulators must now urgently examine these rogue firms’ sharp practices. Not only do they exploit the vulnerable – they’re defying the will of the British people.
Come clean, Coutts
Ever since Nigel Farage announced last month that Coutts had closed his account due to his political views, intrigue has followed intrigue.
Firstly, the Remain-supporting BBC gleefully claimed the real reason was that the ex-Ukip leader wasn’t rich enough.
Ever since Nigel Farage announced last month that Coutts had closed his account due to his political views, intrigue has followed intrigue
Days later we learned that this was nonsense when documents obtained by Mr Farage revealed he was cancelled by Coutts’s reputational committee as a customer because ‘his views do not align with ours’.
Now BBC business editor Simon Jack has apologised for the error, pointedly claiming his information had come from ‘a trusted and senior source’.
Ordinarily, there the matter would rest, were it not for the fact Mr Jack was hugger-mugger with Dame Alison Rose, the boss of Coutts’s owner NatWest, at a dinner the night before the story appeared.
NatWest must now come clean about where the BBC story came from. As Boris Johnson pointed out in his Mail column on Saturday, if Dame Alison is indeed responsible she really has to go.
Building for hope
Young people are statistically less likely to vote Conservative. Denying them an opportunity to get on the housing ladder provides them with even less incentive.
So it beggars belief that within minutes of Levelling-Up Secretary Michael Gove’s announcement yesterday of plans to build more houses around Cambridge, local Tory MP Anthony Browne was already dismissing the proposals as ‘nonsense’.
This is not only a betrayal of the party’s commitment to build 300,000 homes a year, but also of the property-owning vision Margaret Thatcher fought for.
No one wants to concrete over fields. Priority should always go to brownfield sites crying out for regeneration. But if the Government surrenders to nimby activism, it will destroy the hopes of ordinary people who long for a home – as well the Tories’ chances of winning the next election.