A Renfrewshire MP has called on the UK Government to scrap its ‘inhumane, ineffective and immoral’ approach towards immigration detention.

Gavin Newlands, MP recently visited Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre, the only facility in Scotland which holds asylum seekers who face the prospect of being removed from the country.

Gavin has been a long-time critic of the UK Government’s approach towards immigration detention, especially over the policy to detain pregnant women and vulnerable adults for an indefinite period of time.

The Member of Parliament for Paisley and Renfrewshire North led the campaign against the UK Government’s plans to build a short-term detention centre near Glasgow Airport in Renfrewshire. A centre which, had it been built, would have resulted in those seeking asylum potentially being moved hundreds of miles away from friends, family, and crucially, their legal support.

Gavin, said: “I have been a long-time critic of the UK Government’s inhumane, ineffective and immoral approach towards immigration detention. The UK is the only country in Europe which allows indefinite detention, including of vulnerable individuals.

“I visited Dungavel to inspect the facilities and to speak to the hard working team who are being asked to do a very difficult job in frustrating circumstances by this cruel UK Government. It was a very constructive and wide-ranging discussion with the centre management team and home office officials attached to it – I am grateful for the access and the frank nature of the discussion. Although clearly an older facility, Dungavel has the best reputation of all the Immigration Removal Centres’ in the UK and it was easy to see why, when comparing it to my experience of visiting Colnbrook IRC near Heathrow a couple of years ago.

“All that being said, there’s no getting away from the fact that we are still locking up far too many people in our immigration system. The Tory UK Government need to finally wake up and realise their approach to detention is not working. Their cruel approach is driven by ideological prejudices rather than by an evidenced-based approach which treats people with fairness and respect. It’s about time they change direction and adopt a different way towards those who are seeking asylum.”