WATCH: Diane Abbott slams Tories over Yarl’s Wood letter

6th March, 2018 3:27 pm

Today Diane Abbott asked an urgent question in parliament on behalf of women facing indefinite detention in Yarl’s Wood.

As previously reported on LabourList, the shadow home secretary – along with shadow attorney general Baroness Chakrabarti – recently visited Yarl’s Wood detention centre, where 120 women had just begun a hunger strike.

The detainees are calling for an end to indefinite detention and to victims of sexual violence being held. They describe the conditions as “inhumane”.

Abbott said: “In response to my repeated enquiries, the authorities at the detention centre – the Home Office, Serco and G4S – said categorically that there was no hunger strike.

“It now seems that we were misled.”

She referred to a signed letter on Home Office headed paper that stated detainees “currently refusing food and/or fluid” may have their case “accelerated” and “removal from the UK taking place sooner”.

Abbot pointed out that this would fall outside of due process, and said: “This sounds like punitive deportations for women who have dared to go on hunger strike.”

Value our free and unique service?

LabourList has more readers than ever before - but we need your support. Our dedicated coverage of Labour's policies and personalities, internal debates, selections and elections relies on donations from our readers.

If you can support LabourList’s unique and free service then please click here.

To report anything from the comment section, please e-mail [email protected]

LabourList Daily Email

Everything Labour. Every weekday morning

Share with your friends