Immigration: Regulations — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:23 pm on 11th March 2015.

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Photo of Baroness Smith of Basildon Baroness Smith of Basildon Opposition Deputy Chief Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 3:23 pm, 11th March 2015

My Lords, may I also raise the Channel 4 documentary which, as the noble Lord said, shocked and distressed us all? On 8 March, my noble friend Lady Bakewell asked about female staffing levels in Yarl’s Wood. The Minister, reminded your Lordships’ House that Serco was contractually committed to delivering a level of 66% by 2015—that is, now. Following that debate, the chief executive of Serco, Rupert Soames OBE, wrote to me to say that the number of female officers was being increased. His letter says that Serco is working to increase this to 60%—not 66%—and “aim to achieve it” by the end of 2015. Will the noble Lord confirm the correct figure? Is it a contractual and therefore legal obligation to increase the number of women officers and what happens to Serco if it fails?