Home Affairs Committee

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:23 pm on 21st July 2022.

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Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Northern Ireland), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Justice) 12:23 pm, 21st July 2022

I thank the right hon. Lady and her Committee for a typically thorough and well-reasoned report. It is an important contribution to this area of policy. Just this morning the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration reported that the Home Office response to dangerous channel crossings is

“both ineffective and inefficient, exposing gaps in security procedures and leaving vulnerable migrants at risk.”

At the heart of the problem in the Home Office is its basic mechanical inability to process applications, with a backlog of 125,000 and a shortage of staff, when it previously said that it would be employing 1,000 case workers—in fact, at the time of the report that figure was as low as 820. Does she have any view on whether even the figure of 1,000 would be sufficient to meet the current backlog and growing demand?