The Bishop of Durham received the following written answers on 6th December 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government how many propositions for new Immigration Removal Centres have been announced to market in the last two years.
Lord Murray of Blidworth (Con): In the period 23 November 2020 to 23 November 2022 the Home Office has announced to the market three new Immigration Removals Centres: Derwentside IRC, Campsfield IRC, and Haslar IRC.
The Bishop of Durham asked a question about the future use of the Manston immigration facility, and whether children would be detained there, during a debate on the accommodation and safeguarding of migrants on 9th November 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: How will His Majesty’s Government ensure that Manston will now remain a 24-hour facility only, in a way that can be scaled up if necessary, and that no children are detained there at all—or, at least, are not detained with adults who they do not know?
The Lord Bishop of Durham received the following written answers on 2nd November 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government what is the estimated cost of reopening (1) the Campsfield House immigration removal centre in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, and (2) the Haslar immigration removal centre in Gosport, Hampshire.
Lord Murray of Blidworth (Con): As set out in the Prior Information Notice published on 21 September, the current estimated operating costs for Campsfield and Haslar immigration removal centres (IRC) for the lifetime of the 8 year contract will be £170 million and £229 million respectively. In addition to the operating costs, there are also costs associated with the refurbishment and new build of the sites.
It is a deeply regrettable moment for us as a nation that the government is pursuing a policy that intends to transport asylum seekers to another country thousands of miles away, before and without considering their claim to asylum in the UK.
We have a rich history of providing sanctuary to those around the world fleeing war and persecution, and it is intolerable to see us abdicate both our moral responsibility and commitment to international law. This week, all of the 26 bishops of the Church of England who serve in the House of Lords signed a letter voicing our alarm over the government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.
All of the Lords Spiritual signed a letter to The Times voicing alarm about the Government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. They wrote:
Whether or not the first deportation flight leaves Britain today for Rwanda, this policy should shame us as a nation. Rwanda is a brave country recovering from catastrophic genocide. The shame is our own, because our Christian heritage should inspire us to treat asylum seekers with compassion, fairness and justice, as we have for centuries. Those to be deported to Rwanda have had no chance to appeal, or reunite with family in Britain. They have had no consideration of their asylum claim, recognition of their medical or other needs, or any attempt to understand their predicament.
The Archbishop of Canterbury received the following written answers on 24th May 2022:
The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury asked Her Majesty’s Government:
what criteria they will use to determine whether someone arriving in the UK, outside of the authorised channels, is eligible for being relocated to Rwanda.
whether families will be split up through the new Asylum Partnership Arrangement with Rwanda; and if not, what evidence they have that the policy will not lead to increased trafficking of women and children.
On 28th April 2022 MPs asked Andrew Selous MP, representing the Church Commissioners, about parish ministry, freedom of religion & belief, affordable and sustainable housing, illegal migrant crossings in the Channel, families parenting and marriage, candidates entering Holy Orders, and supporting arts and culture. A transcript is below.