THE Home Secretary’s failure to clear the backlog of asylum seekers is leaving hundreds of thousands of people “stuck in limbo”, according to the SNP.

Angela Crawley, the SNP MP for Lanark and Hamilton East, has written to Suella Braverman demanding answers as to why the latest figures show the backlog has now passed 175,000 applicants.

Estimate suggest the scale of the backlog costs taxpayers around £8 million every day.

The MP said that despite Braverman increasing caseworker capacity the Home Office was still nowhere near its aim of clearing the backlog by the end of the year and is causing “immense suffering” to applicants.

She said: “The Home Secretary’s mismanagement of her department is playing with my constituents’ lives and futures.

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“Instead of a functioning immigration and asylum system, the Tory UK Government’s hostile environment model has meant hundreds of thousands of people are stuck in limbo unable to work, study or find their own home as they wait for a decision.

“My caseworkers are spending a significant amount of time chasing up the Home Office for issues which could have been resolved within a few weeks.

“Calling every day, only to be told that the claims are being processed but with no progress, it’s like talking to a brick wall.

“The Home Secretary needs to get her priorities straight. Instead of criminalising vulnerable people who travel to the UK on small boats, she should be investing more resources into clearing the backlog.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We are committed to clearing the backlog of legacy asylum cases by the end of the year and have already cut this by a nearly a third since the start of December.

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"This is thanks to our work doubling the number of asylum decision makers in post and streamlining processes.

“As the public expect, we continue to have robust safeguards and checks in place to make sure asylum claims are properly considered, decisions are sound, and that protection is granted to those who genuinely need it.”

In August, migrants housed on the Bibby Stockholm barge the were evacuated within days of moving in after legionella was found in the water supply.

The latest test of the water supply came back as “satisfactory” making it likely that the government will seek to return migrants to the accommodation despite continuing concerns about fire safety.