Gareth Thomas MP

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Gareth Thomas calls for changes to the process for asylum claims regarding victims of torture

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Gareth Thomas, MP for Harrow West, has written to the Immigration Minister, Brandon Lewis, and the chair of the Home Office select committee, Yvette Cooper, calling for changes to the way asylum applications are handled by the Home Office regarding victims of torture. 

A recent report form Freedom from Torture, highlighed a number of problems with the process for victims of torture asylum applications. Such problems include ignoring or dismissing expert medical evidence. 

Within the letter, Mr Thomas highlighted the reports findings that there are "endemic, incorrect and inconsistent treatment of medical evidence by Home Office caseworkers". Further stating that 76% of refusals examined were overturned at appeal, which strongly indicates "that the decision making process is being prolonged unnecessarily, as the cost of the tax payer, and causing the individual concerned further distress."

The letter pressed the government to set out how they aim to improve the way in which Home Office caseworkers consider asylum claims from victims of torture, following the publication of the report from Freedom from Torture. Particularly in regards to fully implementing a new training programme.

Mr Thomas has also pressed for the chair of the Home Affairs Select committee, Yvetter Cooper, to launch an inquiry into these issues. 

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