On 28th September 2020 Members of the House of Lords questioned Government on steps being taken to reform the asylum system. The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, asked a follow question:
The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, the Minister will know the importance for those in need of asylum of safe and legal routes to the UK directly, rather than undertaking hazardous journeys on land and sea. The UK’s vulnerable persons resettlement scheme was one such route and has been something of a success story. However, with the scheme still paused, I believe, due to Covid, what discussions have the Government had with local authorities, and perhaps with voluntary sector groups, about their capacity in the light of Covid to restart it and—dare I say it?—extend it?
Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con): My Lords, the right reverend Prelate, absolutely rightly, points to the work that local authorities are doing and we are most grateful to them; 80 local authorities have pledged more than 330 places to support our national transfer scheme. But he is also right to point out that in parallel with requests for more local authorities to support the NTS, we have launched a consultation on a more sustainable long-term model for the NTS.