Bishop of Peterborough asks Government about religious literacy training for Home Office immigration caseworkers

PeterboroughFeb2017bOn 3rd April 2019 the Minister for Equalities, Baroness Williams of Trafford, repeated a statement made in the House of Commons by the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, about the Windrush Compensation Scheme. The Bishop of Peterborough, Rt Revd Donald Allister, responded with a follow up question about religious literacy in determining asylum applications:

Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, while grateful for the Statement and the compensation scheme, I have a particular concern to raise with the Minister. We have recently seen publicity about very poor decisions on immigration made in the Home Office, suggesting that decisions are being made by staff who are perhaps too junior or not adequately trained. Can we be assured that there will be enough staff working on this scheme who are of sufficient seniority and adequately trained?

Baroness Williams of Trafford:  I think I know the matter to which the right reverend Prelate is referring. I met the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Durham and other noble Lords to discuss the issue in question. It was a productive discussion in which we talked about better training for people making decisions and—in the case we are talking about—better religious literacy. Yes, we have to learn lessons from the sorry Windrush episode and make more consistent and proper decisions as we go forward.


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