NICOLA Sturgeon has said she is “horrified” at the implications of a Court of Session ruling which deemed lock-change evictions against asylum seekers were lawful, as she called for Holyrood to be given control over Scotland’s immigration policy.

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions, she said although the practice may be “lawful, it is certainly not moral”.

The court ruled on Wednesday 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.

The National:

READ MORE: Serco's asylum seeker lock-change evictions ruled ‘not illegal’

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

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

“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,” she said.

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

READ MORE: Tories aren't wasting their anger on trivial things like 'poverty'

She said the Scottish Government needed a “long-term, sustainable solution” to the problem, while calling for control of immigration to be devolved from Westminster.

“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,”

she added.

“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.”

Earlier, Sturgeon told MSPs she wants to be part of a progressive alliance to lock the Tories out of government because they “wreak misery and havoc”. Her remarks came in an exchange with Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw when he pressed her on next year’s timetable for holding referendums on Scottish independence and Brexit.

The First Minister has said she will request a Section 30 order from Westminster by the end of this year for a second independence referendum in 2020 and has given her backing to holding another poll on Brexit, including an option to remain.

She said: “My priority is to give the people of Scotland the opportunity to choose independence next year and I look forward to delivering on that.”

The National:

Carlaw then turned to the prospect of a “progressive alliance” with other UK parties to oust the Tories from government at Westminster and asked how she could form an alliance in “the same UK, if we follow her rightly, that she hopes to leave weeks later”.

Sturgeon said: “Yes, I would want to be part of a progressive alliance to lock the Tories out of government in Westminster. Why? Because Tories wreak misery and havoc.

“It’s a year today since Theresa May presented her Brexit deal to her Cabinet, unleashing a year of chaos and division at the hands of the Tories. Austerity, welfare cuts, pushing more and more children into poverty.

No right-minded person across this country would want anything other than an alternative to that Tory misery.”