THE Home Office is to start the process of moving asylum seekers out of hotels in Glasgow and back into “more permanent accommodation”.

News of the U-turn in policy came yesterday afternoon, just hours after a charity working with asylum seekers in the city called for an urgent, independent inquiry into the events leading up to last week’s brutal knife attack.

Six people were injured in the incident at the Park Inn on Friday – three asylum seekers, two hotel staff, and PC David Whyte. Two of the asylum seekers in hospital are under 18.

The attacker, 28-year-old Badreddin Abadlla Adam, from Sudan, was shot dead by armed police.

Over the weekend there have been questions for private housing provider Mears, subcontracted by the Home Office, to look after the asylum seekers in Glasgow.

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At the start of lockdown, with very little notice, they moved 321 people from their self-contained apartments to hotels across the city.

Those relocated included, pregnant women, trafficked women, torture victims, family groups and vulnerable people. Last week it emerged that, in a possible breach of the asylum accommodation contract, the housing provider had not carried out vulnerability assessments on the people being moved.

Robina Qureshi, the director of Positive Action in Housing said, the Home Office had treated people like “Amazon parcels”.

She said: “You and I know that staying inside a house is difficult enough through the pandemic.

I’m afraid to say the Government has been posted missing on the issue of asylum accommodation in Glasgow

“But staying in a hotel with four walls and not being able to socially distance, not being able to clean your own environment, not being able to wash your own clothes, not able to cook your own food – all of this conspires to create mental pressure on a human being.

“People that Mears took and the Home Office uprooted in March at the height of the lockdown were vulnerable people.

“They were not Amazon parcels, they were human beings with feelings and thoughts and fears, and they were terrified of what was happening next and why they were put into these hotels.”

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Yesterday, in a heated exchange in Parliament, the Glasgow Central MP Alison Thewliss, accused Mears of having “lied to everybody”.

She urged the Home Office to suspend its contract with the firm, and pointed out that she and colleagues had raised concerns about the company less than two weeks ago.

Thewliss said the relocation of the asylum seekers had not been done properly.

She said: “They did not consult as they are obliged to do with Glasgow City Council or anyone else, contrary to the oral and written evidence for the Home Affairs Select Committee by Mears boss John Taylor.”

Because they were being moved into hotels with food being provided, the asylum seekers all lost their £5.37 daily allowance.

Thewliss urged the minister to reinstate this “meagre” stipend to allow asylum seekers a “small but important degree of dignity”.

Responding to the MP, Home Office minister Chris Philp said hotel accommodation for asylum seekers was “only ever a temporary measure”.

Philp added: “I can confirm that it is our plan to move people out of those hotels into more regular mainstream accommodation as quickly as possible. That was always the intention, it was only ever a temporary measure – that applies to hotel accommodation of course in the rest of the United Kingdom as well as Scotland.”

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He added that the hotels that have been used to house asylum seekers “are of good quality”.

Glasgow South MP Stewart McDonald rejected the minister’s claim. He said: “Those of us who represent Glasgow are utterly horrified at the tone-deaf remarks from the minister when he talked about how lovely these hotel rooms are.

“Could he stay in one hotel room for several weeks during lockdown?

“I’m afraid to say the Government has been posted missing on the issue of asylum accommodation in Glasgow, which many of us in the city have been jumping up and down about for several months.”

Last month Syrian Adnan Elbi died after being moved into a hotel.