I was recently in court for a case that has brought to light harrowing footage of the treatment of a woman in Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre.
This traumatic video speaks for itself: Watch it here.
The Government needs to close this facility immediately. Yarl's Wood is an immigration removal centre, where people with disputed immigration status can be detained indefinitely – meaning they have no idea when or if they might get to leave. Years of sexual abuse allegations, testimony of inhumane and brutal treatment, reports of self-harm and mental health crises, and the detention of vulnerable abuse victims mean the continuation of Yarl's Wood is indefensible. It’s time to do what should have been done long ago, and close it down.
Please sign our petition to get Yarl's Wood shut down.
The women in Yarl’s Wood have not been detained because of criminal offences, but having worked for years with vulnerable women within the criminal justice system, I know that there are nearly always humane alternatives to custody that are more effective for both the women and also the tax-payer. There is no excuse for the continuation of their detention.
But Yarl's Wood is just the tip of the iceberg. The UK’s cruel and costly immigration system is not fit-for-purpose at any level. The Windrush scandal; the incarceration of victims of human trafficking; the ban that stops those seeking asylum from working.
The story around immigration has been dominated by the Nigel Farages of this world seeking to spread division and fear. When the truth is - immigration is what makes Britain great. At its core, it is about people falling in love, having families, and building better lives for themselves. Immigration contributes so much to the cultural and economic wealth of our country.
It’s time to tell the true story of immigration in the UK, and reform every part of our broken system. I plan to make this one of my key areas of focus as we move forward.
Start now by signing our petition and joining our urgent campaign below: