Backbench Business — Immigration Detention

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 12:00 pm on 10th September 2015.

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Photo of Richard Fuller Richard Fuller Conservative, Bedford 12:00 pm, 10th September 2015

My right hon. Friend makes a good point. Mr Deputy Speaker, you have given me one more minute, so I shall be brief.

We should not detain people who are the victims of torture and rape. It is so hard for someone in this country to prove that they have been raped. How easy would it be for someone from another country? Just because someone cannot prove that they were raped does not mean that it did not happen. We should not incarcerate women, particularly when they are overseen by male guards, if alternatives are available. It is very worrying when women in Yarl’s Wood say that they do not feel safe. Women are absolutely right to call for an end to the detention of victims of torture and rape. Ninety nine pregnant women were detained in a year—it takes a lot to get the Home Office to admit that pregnant women are detained—which is two a week except over Christmas, when, perhaps for those pregnant women, there was no room at that particular inn to incarcerate them.

Most of all, this is not just about the plight of the women in Yarl’s Wood and of others caught in the immigration detention system. It is not just about looking tough on immigration, because there is no inconsistency between being tough on immigration and having an effective policy. This is about the type of people we are. When it comes to Yarl’s Wood, it is time for the Minister to close it down and set her free.