§ Sir John Wheeler
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the plans for a new voluntary body to take over the general immigration work of the United Kingdom Immigrants Advisory Service.
§ Mr. Charles Wardle
I announced on 8 July 1992, columns202–203, that the Government had decided to terminate the grant in aid paid to UKIAS and that my right hon. and learned Friend had invited Mr. Humfrey Malins to lead a small planning group, outside Government, to draw up proposals for a new voluntary body which would receive grant under section 23 of the Immigration Act 1971 and would take over UKIAS's general immigration work.
After consulting widely, the planning group completed its proposals at the end of last year and published its report on 29 January. A copy is in the Library of the House. The Government have now considered this report and have concluded that the trustees of an organisation constituted and structured as the planning group proposes would be able to meet their responsibilities under charity law and to satisfy the Home Office that there would be proper accountability for the grant paid. Accordingly, my right hon. and learned Friend is asking the planning group now to take steps to implement its proposals and establish the new body as outlined in the report.
The Government are most grateful to Mr. Malins and the members of the planning group for their work on the report and for their willingness to take their proposals forward, and also to the Reverend David Haslam and members of the standing executive committee who have formed an interim administration to run UKIAS during the transitional period so that the service to immigration appellants can continue.