Medomsley Detention Centre

Justice – in the House of Commons on 29th June 2021.

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Photo of Kevin Hollinrake Kevin Hollinrake Conservative, Thirsk and Malton

What steps his Department is taking to help ensure that appropriate compensation is disbursed to Medomsley Detention Centre victims.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

I have every sympathy for the survivors and victims of Medomsley detention centre, who suffered abhorrent abuse. The Ministry of Justice has been working for several years to compensate properly survivors and victims. Where necessary, claimants are able to submit medical evidence to support allegations of abuse so that damages can be appropriately assessed. That includes both physical and psychological injury. The majority of claims for compensation have now been settled under a settlement protocol.

Photo of Kevin Hollinrake Kevin Hollinrake Conservative, Thirsk and Malton

I am grateful for that answer. The compensation scheme covers physical, not sexual abuse. My constituent suffered terrible, much more serious abuse. He was drugged and raped, which has had a profound effect on his health for over 40 years—both his physical and his mental health—and that of his family. Will my hon. Friend agree to meet me, my constituent and the chair of the all-party parliamentary group on Medomsley detention centre to discuss a proper compensation settlement for my constituent?

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

I am very grateful to my hon. Friend for that question, and he paints a truly harrowing picture. For the avoidance of doubt, cases involving serious sexual harm and psychological injury can be dealt with by the Government Legal Department, albeit outside the standard compensation scheme. Because of their seriousness and complexity, they are considered on a case-by-case basis and awards made have been significant. We take great care to ensure the level of compensation properly reflects the seriousness of the abuse. It is of course always open to claimants to issue proceedings in the courts outwith the scheme, should they see fit. I would be happy to meet to discuss the protocols, but I just say this: it is important that Ministers do not interfere in specific cases when litigation is ongoing.