All of the terrible news that the government tried to suppress before MPs left for vacation.
Last week, just before MPs left for their lengthy summer break, the Commons was bombarded with a frenzy of reports and material.
And, according to the Mirror, some of the bad news the government would prefer not to attract too much attention was stashed away in the typical pre-recess flood of content. Some of the highlights are listed here.
The Home Office has been chastised for its handling of asylum seekers.
A damning assessment accused the Home Office of “leadership failures” that resulted in “dangerous flaws” at two old Army camps that house asylum seekers.
The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration’s final report on Penally Camp in Pembrokeshire and Napier Barracks in Kent was released just hours before MPs went for the summer recess.
It was only revealed after Home Affairs Committee head Yvette Cooper accused the Home Office of keeping it hidden for “many months” in a “Kafkaesque” situation.
The research revealed that once one person was infected, a big Covid outbreak last year at Napier Barracks, where 59 asylum seekers are currently confined in dormitories, was “almost unavoidable.”
The report also stated that “despite a large incident, inadequate action has been taken to address chronic serious fire safety deficiencies at Napier.”
“Home Office officials were rarely present at any site,” the investigation stated. The Home Office had made fundamental leadership and planning mistakes, which had resulted in hazardous flaws in the nature of the accommodations and terrible experiences for the residents.”
“This is a scathing study that demonstrates the Home Office’s complete failure to heed public health advice or meet basic competency and safety standards,” Ms Cooper added.
“Yet, rather than acknowledge the flaws, ministers have tried to conceal them by releasing it on the last day of the Parliamentary session, the day after the Select Committee, when there is no time for review, despite the fact that it was received in May.”
“During the height of an extraordinary health pandemic, more accommodation was required at extremely short notice to ensure asylum seekers were not left destitute,” a representative for the Home Office stated.
“Since this report was written, we have made major improvements to the property and continue to endeavor to ensure that residents are safe, secure, and happy.”
“The summary comes to an end.”