Immigration: DNA Tests
Sir Edward Davey Excerpts
Thursday 25th October 2018

(1 year, 4 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Home Office
Sajid Javid Portrait Sajid Javid - Parliament Live - Hansard
25 Oct 2018, 12:32 p.m.

My right hon. Friend makes a very important point. It is good to remind the House that my statement was about the wrongful mandatory use of DNA evidence; as he says, DNA evidence can be a very helpful tool when it is completely voluntary. I understand that the Home Office has, in some cases, helped individuals to do that on an absolutely voluntary basis, because the provision of such evidence can help people, especially if they are in particularly distressing or difficult situations or they are otherwise vulnerable. I think it is helpful to point out that when someone chooses to provide DNA evidence, and it is purely their choice, that should be taken into account.

Sir Edward Davey Portrait Sir Edward Davey (Kingston and Surbiton) (LD) - Hansard

I thank the Home Secretary for his statement, and particularly for his tone and apology. Is it not the case, however, that the DNA scandal suggests that the Home Office’s hostile environment policy pushed officials to break the law? Will his structure review consider a root-and-branch reform of this nasty culture and consider giving the processing of immigration and asylum applications to a new unit that is independent from the Home Office—a unit that can ignore political pressures and simply work efficiently, fairly and lawfully?

Sajid Javid Portrait Sajid Javid - Parliament Live - Hansard
25 Oct 2018, 12:34 p.m.

I think the right hon. Gentleman meant to refer to a compliant environment. That is an environment in which we make sure, on behalf of British citizens, that we have a robust immigration policy that is fair to people, but that enables us to be strong on those who set out to abuse our immigration system and enter or settle in our country illegally—for example, in fraudulent cases—not least to be fair to those who use legal routes for migration to or settlement in the UK.

It is worth reminding the right hon. Gentleman that for five years he was part of a Government that worked on compliant environment policies, which began many years before that with previous Governments. He now appears to have a problem with some of those policies, but I do not remember him raising them when I sat alongside him in Cabinet. That said, there absolutely are lessons to learn from this. We must conduct the right review, with independent oversight, and learn those lessons.