Theresa May to overhaul asylum seeker process

The Home Secretary claimed the current process rewards the "wealthiest, the luckiest and the strongest

 

Arj Singh,Andrew Woodcock,Joe Churcher,Sam Lister
Tuesday 06 October 2015 12:27 BST
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Home Secretary Theresa May gives a speech on the third day of the annual Conservative party conference in Manchester,
Home Secretary Theresa May gives a speech on the third day of the annual Conservative party conference in Manchester, (AFP)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

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Theresa May has announced a major overhaul of the asylum system to reduce the numbers claiming in Britain while taking in the "most vulnerable" refugees from conflict zones around the world.

May announces asylum plan

The Home Secretary claimed the current process rewards the "wealthiest, the luckiest and the strongest" by only granting asylum to those who can make it to the UK and that it is abused by people who are not at risk in their home nations or have already travelled through safe countries.

In what will be seen as a pitch to run as the right-wing candidate in the expected leadership contest to succeed David Cameron, Mrs May also claimed that too much immigration makes it impossible to build a cohesive society.

Her proposals for asylum mark a major departure from the system Britain uses to offer refuge for those fleeing conflict and persecution around the world and appears to be aimed at reducing the numbers coming to the country.

Mrs May told the Conservative Party conference in Manchester: "What I'm proposing is a deal - the fewer people there are who wrongly claim asylum in Britain, the more generous we can be in helping the most vulnerable people in the world's most dangerous places.

"And my message to the immigration campaigners and human rights lawyers is this - you can play your part in making this happen or you can try to frustrate it.

May makes immigration warning

"But if you choose to frustrate it, you will have to live with the knowledge that you are depriving people in genuine need of the sanctuary our country can offer.

"There are people who need our help and there are people who are abusing our goodwill and I know whose side I'm on."

AGENCY

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