Author: Jeremy Corbyn
Labour leader will root out private-sector profiteers from the asylum system and end Theresa May’s ‘hostile environment’
JEREMY CORBYN will vow to end the “ugly and discredited system” of private contractors wrecking refugees’ lives today when he meets asylum-seekers threatened with eviction in Glasgow.
Outsourcing giant Serco holds a government contract for housing refugees in Scotland’s largest city. It announced a plan to change the locks on flats occupied by unsuccessful asylum-seekers, but the plan was “paused” after public uproar.
Mr Corbyn is on a four-day tour of Scotland. It will culminate tomorrow night with a lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival, in which he will set out his views on Britain’s “media landscape.”
Meeting Glasgow refugees today he will call for Britain’s Tory government to roll back its privatisation and outsourcing agenda and end the “hostile environment” policy that caused the Windrush crisis.
“Time and again private profit is put ahead of the public interest. This has to end,” the Labour leader will say.
“Private firms have no business profiting from the detention of refugees and asylum-seekers and we will end the ugly and discredited system of private firms running immigration detention centres.”
He will pay tribute to the grassroots campaign to end the evictions, though warning it has “won just a temporary reprieve.”
Mr Corbyn’s speech comes after his de facto deputy John McDonnell warned that Birmingham prison, Carillion and the Virgin/Stagecoach East Coast rail franchise “have all collapsed because of failed Tory privatisation.”
On his tour Mr Corbyn has also joined Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard in Lanark to meet the party’s early selected candidates in Westminster target seats.
An event in Glasgow last night was framed not as a traditional rally but a “people-powered meeting” to encourage ordinary people to sign up and take action in their communities.
At an Edinburgh International Book Festival event on Monday night, Mr Corbyn was challenged by an audience member over why his party was not “streets ahead” of the Conservatives in opinion polls.
He argued that Labour had gained huge swathes of support at last year’s general election and since, noting that the party had seen its biggest increase in the vote since 1945.
“I wish to God we had won the general election — I did everything I personally could to make sure we won that general election,” he said.
“But I tell you what. Next time we’re going to do it even better and even bigger and, what’s more, we’re going to win it.”