Immigration and Asylum

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th January 2001.

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Photo of Mrs Barbara Roche Mrs Barbara Roche Minister of State, Home Office 12:00 am, 8th January 2001

I know that the right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) finds it difficult, but if she would contain herself, I will let her and the House have the figures which the hon. Member for Blaby (Mr. Robathan) asked for. In 1996, more than 26,000 people were removed in total, which includes the illegal entrants whom the hon. Gentleman asked about. In 1999, more than 37,000 people—in fact, nearly 38,000—were removed. We do not have all the figures for 2000 yet, but so far they show that more than 42,000 people were removed, which is perhaps the highest number ever.

If the hon. Gentleman were serious about doing something about the appalling trade in human beings and dealing with those who care nothing for the lives of very vulnerable people, he would support the Government in the implementation of the civil penalty, which his party opposed.