FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she is "horrified" at the implications of a court ruling which deemed lock-change evictions against asylum seekers to be lawful. 

As she called for Holyrood to be given control over Scotland's immigration policy at First Minister's Questions, the SNP leader said while the eviction practice may be "lawful, it is certainly not moral". 

The Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled yesterday that the practice used by Home Office contractor Serco, against asylum seekers who had been denied refuge in the UK, was not against the law.

In response to a question from Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie - who described the practice as "despicable" - the First Minister said: "I am horrified at the implications of this judgment.

"If lock-change evictions are legal - and of course the Human Rights Act is reserved to Westminster - they are certainly not moral."

READ MORE: Serco's asylum seeker lock-change evictions ruled lawful

The First Minister said UK immigration policy has impacted the way asylum seekers and other immigrants are treated when they reach Britain.

She said: "Let's be clear about this, we've ended up in this situation because of an inhumane and degrading government asylum system which is leaving people destitute and homeless in the country where they have sought refuge.

"We should be giving refuge to the people who have fled worse circumstances than we can even imagine."

The National: Many people protested Serco's decision at the time Many people protested Serco's decision at the time

Sturgeon said the Scottish Government needs a "long-term, sustainable solution" to the problem, while calling for control of immigration to be devolved from Westminster.

She added: "We'll do everything we can do in our powers to ensure that asylum seekers have everything that they need, the Communities Secretary will be liaising with stakeholders to see how we can support people who have been placed in this situation by an inhumane asylum system.

"Longer term - and I hope it's not too long-term - what we really need is control over immigration and asylum in this Parliament, so we can build from scratch a system that has humanity, dignity and respect at its very heart."