76 Labour MPs urge pause on ‘no recourse to public funds’ migrant status

Sienna Rodgers

76 Labour MPs have urged the government to temporarily remove the ‘no recourse to public funds’ status held by some migrants for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.

In a letter coordinated by new Labour representative Taiwo Owatemi, a cross-party group of 98 MPs express concern that those with the ‘NRPF’ immigration condition will not be able to follow government health advice.

Anyone with leave to remain in the UK with the NPRF condition cannot currently claim Universal Credit, which the self-employed have been told to apply for if their income has been affected by coronavirus.

As the MPs note in their letter to the Prime Minister sent today, it is “unclear whether funds provided from the Job Retention Scheme will extend to those without recourse to public funds”.

The list of signatories include shadow immigration minister Bell Ribeiro-Addy, shadow public health minister Sharon Hodgson, shadow cabinet members Diane Abbott, Dawn Butler and Barry Gardiner.

Below is the full text of the letter on ‘no recourse to public funds’.

Dear Prime Minister,

I am writing to you regarding the effect of coronavirus on those with no recourse to public funds.

We welcome the government’s measures to ensure that those who are unemployed or whose businesses have been affected by the impact of coronavirus will be able to keep a roof over their heads and food on their table during this difficult time.

However, we are concerned about the large number of people in the UK living here with no recourse to public funds. The government has not yet announced how vulnerable people with NRPF status will be helped through this crisis. We are writing to urge you to act immediately and provide clarity.

Our constituents across the country have written to us concerned about how they will get through this crisis without government help. While we understand that their welfare typically falls within local government remit, it is quite clear that during this unprecedented health crisis we need national government direction and guidance on the issue.

Those with leave to remain with NRPF condition cannot currently access all of the government’s measures to protect families. For example, a person who is self-employed is not currently able to claim Universal Credit if they have leave to remain with NRPF. It is also unclear whether funds provided from the Job Retention Scheme will extend to those without recourse to public funds. This could not only leave people at risk of destitution but also in a situation where following NHS guidance on self-isolation presents serious challenges and potentially far reaching, fatal consequences.

We are calling on the government to temporarily waive the NRPF status so that this group of people can access the provisions to help those facing an adverse economic impact due to the outbreak of Covid-19. The government must provide more help and guidance to local government so that they are able to effectively help this portion of our communities.

It is clear from the government’s strategy that we must all work together to end this crisis. No group should face increased suffering, especially because of their immigration status. This crisis will not come to an end unless we are all protected in this challenging and unprecedented time.

We look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Taiwo Owatemi MP
Florence Eshalomi MP
Lilian Greenwood MP
Ruth Cadbury MP
Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP
Stephen Morgan MP
Rachel Hopkins MP
James Murray MP
Mohammad Yasin MP
Paula Barker MP
Mary Foy MP
Wera Hobhouse MP
Feryal Clark MP
Kate Osborne MP
Catherine West MP
Abena Oppong-Asare MP
Olivia Blake MP
Philippa Whitford MP
Ian Byrne MP
Claudia Webbe MP
Martyn Day MP
Sam Tarry MP
Tahir Ali MP
Alex Cunningham MP
Nadia Whittome MP
Steve Reed MP
Rosie Duffield MP
Dawn Butler MP
Tommy Sheppard MP
Jon Cruddas MP
Tan Dhesi MP
Christina Rees MP
Wendy Chamberlain MP
Janet Daby MP
Virendra Sharma MP
Geraint Davies MP
Tulip Siddiq MP
Rushanara Ali MP
Sarah Champion MP
Diane Abbott MP
Diana Johnson MP
Allan Dorans MP
Alex Davies-Jones MP
Vicky Foxcroft MP
Harriet Harman MP
Paul Blomfield MP
Wes Streeting MP
Neil Coyle MP
Beth Winter MP
Stella Creasy MP
Stephen Doughty MP
Owen Thompson MP
Debbie Abrahams MP
Daisy Cooper MP
Matthew Pennycook MP
Apsana Begum MP
Marion Fellows MP
Alex Sobel MP
Karen Buck MP
Kim Johnson MP
Yasmin Qureshi MP
Stephen Flynn MP
Jack Dromey MP
Christopher Stephens MP
Tim Farron MP
Caroline Lucas MP
Barry Gardiner MP
Lyn Brown MP
Anneliese Dodds MP
Stephen Farry MP
Kate Osamor MP
Emma Lewell-Buck MP
Rupa Huq MP
Anne Mclaughlin MP
Siobhain McDonagh MP
Alison Thewliss MP
Sarah Owen MP
Clive Lewis MP
Munira Wilson MP
Kenny Macaskill MP
Kerry McCarthy MP
Tonia Antoniazzi MP
Catherine McKinnell MP
Gerald Jones MP
Hilary Benn MP
Neale Hanvey MP
Angus MacNeil MP
Jo Stevens MP
Emma Hardy MP
Margaret Hodge MP
Jamie Stone MP
Afzal Khan MP
Sharon Hodgson MP
Claire Hanna MP
David Lammy MP
Zarah Sultana MP
Bambos Charalambous MP
Sharon Hodgson MP

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