I acknowledge that there have been some difficulties in Peterborough with the integration of asylum seekers, refugees and migrant workers. However, community relations there are improving, as I saw when I visited Peterborough on
Does the Minister agree that, instead of being an asylum hot spot, Peterborough has recently become a model for managing and controlling immigration properly? We have been greatly assisted by local employers such as Peter Boizot, the owner of the Great Northern hotel, who welcome these additions to the work force, and by the splendid New Link centre, which is funded by this Labour Government and provides vital help and support to all our new arrivals to Peterborough.
When I visited Peterborough on
The hon. Gentleman has raised an important issue. The removal of failed asylum seekers is a priority for me, as Minister with that responsibility, and for the Government. That is why I am pleased to be able to announce that, since 1997, we have been able to double the number of failed asylum seekers whom we have been able to remove from the country and that, because of steps we have taken—including changes in the law, for instance in the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004—we are confident that we shall be able to increase the number further.
I am sorry that I cannot help the hon. Gentleman with the specifics of his question. The community in Peterborough did not know exactly how many failed asylum seekers there were. I acknowledged that this was an issue during our discussions, however, and we are working with the community to deal with it.