HC Deb 18 February 1988 vol 127 cc1136-7
5. Mr. James Lamond

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will announce his decision on the request by Salema Begum, daughter of Mr. Gura Miah, to remain with her parents in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Renton

I wrote to the hon. Member on 12 February to say that following the satisfactory conclusion of inquiries by the immigration service, I have decided to allow Salema Begum to remain in this country with her parents.

Mr. Lamond

I thank the Minister for that answer. Although the case was lengthy—I think necessarily so—and the girl concerned and her family were put under considerable strain, I should, nevertheless, like to give my personal thanks to the Minister for exercising his discretion in that way and also put on record the thanks of the family.

Mr. Renton

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his remarks, which I shall certainly pass on to the officials in my office and at Lunar house. However, I hope that the hon. Gentleman can persuade some of the Cassandras on his Benches to realise that the Home Secretary and I are trying genuinely to improve immigration procedures.

Mr. Randall

Although my hon. Friends and I welcome the Minister's descision on that specific case, is he aware that it was based on DNA testing? When will the Minister stop dragging his feet and start to introduce a DNA testing service, which we believe should be free of charge to the poorer in our society?

Mr. Renton

I am aware that the result was based on DNA testing, because I took the decision myself. As I said to the House two days ago in the debate on the Immigration Bill, we now have the report on DNA in draft. We are showing it to the experts involved and once we have their approval of the detail, I shall lay a copy in the Library of the House.

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