Sunday 4 October 2020 4:02 pm

Priti Patel promises overhaul of the UK asylum system

Home secretary Priti Patel has vowed to deliver the “biggest overhaul” of the UK asylum system in decades.

Patel used her speech at the Conservative party conference to promise a “firm, but fair” asylum policy to get control of the increasing number of immigrants illegally crossing the Channel.

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Patel has reportedly been considering a wide range of options in recent months to curb the number of people trying to enter the UK illegally, including sending people to an island in the Atlantic for processing.

The suggestion was said to have come from former Australian Prime Minister, and current UK trade adviser, Tony Abbott.

Patel said today that the current asylum system was “broken” and that she would bring forward legislation to change it next year.

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“After decades of inaction by successive governments we will address the moral, legal and practical problems with the asylum system, because what exists now is neither firm nor fair,” she said.

Patel added: “Right now, the most vulnerable are stuck in this broken system, with over forty thousand other people.

“Almost half of these claims take a year or more to reach a decision.”

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Labour shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said Patel’s message was “shameless”.

“The British people will see through the home secretary’s shameless comments about a ‘broken system’, when the system has been overseen by the Tories for a decade,” he said.