HC Deb 30 November 1993 vol 233 c406W
Mr. Corbyn

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department why a letter to him from the chair of the Association of London Authorities about asylum seekers and refugees dated 9 November 1992 was not responded to until 14 October 1993.

Mr. Charles Wardle

Between October 1992 and November 1993, over 1,500 written representations were received from hon. Members, interested organisations and members of the public about general asylum issues. The small unit dealing with this correspondence was also responsible for supporting the passage of the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993 which came into force in July this year. The priority which had to be given to the new legislation regrettably resulted in long delays in replying to general correspondence.

Mrs. Roche

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers are currently detained in Britain and of those how many are being held with(a) people convicted on criminal charges and (b) people awaiting trial.

Mr. Charles Wardle

On 29 November 1993, 472 people detained under the powers contained in the Immigration Act 1971 had claimed asylum. Information about those held with convicted prisoners and people awaiting trial is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.