Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, will use a debate in Parliament on Wednesday to expose how the Government?s own decisions have led to a massive increase in the number of asylum seekers and made it more difficult to stem the inflow. This follows Mr. Lilley?s exchange with the Prime Minister in Parliament about the removal of benefits to asylum seekers who apply after entering the country under false pretences. He has secured a debate for Wednesday morning (26th February).

    Peter Lilley said:

    “I have secured a debate on the government?s U-turn on the provision of benefits to asylum seekers. Only now has Labour reinstated measures (which I first introduced when I was responsible for Social Security) to remove the right to benefits from those who enter Britain as businessmen, tourists or students, but subsequently claim asylum. When Labour came to power in 1997 they foolishly allowed the right to benefit to be restored. As a result the number of asylum seekers doubled? placing a huge burden on an already stretched social security budget.

    “Following my exchange with the Prime Minister on this issue last month, he pledged to halve the number of asylum applications by September. A High Court decision last week ruled that the government?s measures fell foul of its own Human Rights Act ? casting new doubt on its ability to achieve the Prime Minister?s target.

    “The government must acknowledge that its U-turns over asylum have created chaos, confusion and cost. If the present rate continues, 2.5 million immigrants will arrive in the UK in the next decade ? requiring us to build every year three times as many homes as there are in Hitchin and Harpenden. I look forward to putting these points to the responsible minister during this important debate.?