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31 Oct 2002 : Column 942W—continued

Asylum Seekers

Diana Organ: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) which professional organisations were consulted prior to the decision to withdraw asylum seekers' right to work; [77118]

Beverley Hughes: We received a number of written representations regarding the general issue of asylum seekers and entitlement to work earlier this year as part of the wider consultation exercise on our White Paper, 'Secure Borders, Safe Haven'. All of these responses have been placed in the Library, with the exception of those respondents who indicated they did not wish their responses to be published.

We also received representations fromthe Refugee Council following our announcement to end the concession.

We did not consult directly with other organisations immediately prior to announcing abolition of the concession. Improved timeliness of initial decisions by the Immigration Nationality Directorate had made the concession largely irrelevant in practice so wider consultation would have added no real value.

Mr Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people from Cameroon applied for asylum in the UK in (a) 2000, (b) 2001 and (c) to date this year; and what percentage was successful in each year. [77628]

Beverley Hughes: The information requested is given in the table. Data on initial decisions are independent of applications data, and do not all necessarily relate to applications lodged in the same period.

Asylum applications received in the United Kindom, and initial decisions, excluding dependants, Cameroon, January 2000 to June 2000(14),(15)

Initial Decisions
Total applications(16) Total initial decisionsCases considered under normal procedures(17) Cases considered under backlog clearance exercise(18)
TotalGrants of asylum (percentage)Grants of ELRRefusalsTotal Grants of asylum or ELRRefusals(19)
2001p 3705655659587---
January to June 2002p 2802652657985---

(14) Figures (other than percentages) rounded to the nearest five.

(15) Decision figures do not necessarily relate to applications received in the same period Information is of initial decisions, excluding the outcome of appeals or other subsequent decisions.

(16) May exclude some cases lodged at Local Enforcement Offices between January and March 2000.

(17) Cases considered under the normal procedures may include some cases decided under the backlog criteria.

(18) Case decided under measures aimed at reducing the pre 1996 asylum application backlog.

(19) Includes some cases where the application has been refused on substantive grounds.

p Provisional data.

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Information on appeals is given in the table. Appeals in any given time period do not necessarily relate to initial decisions made by the Home Office. The figures exclude any further appeals (Immigration Appeals Tribunal, Court of Appeal, judicial review, House of Lords).

Appeals in asylum cases, brought by nationals of Cameroon, determined by adjudicators of the Immigration Appellate authority January 2000 to June 2002(20)

Total DeterminedAllowed (perentage)Dismissed (percentage)Withdrawn(21)
January to June 200216529682

(20) Provisional estimated figutrse rounded (other than percentrages) to the nearest 5.

(21) Includes appeals withdrawn by the appellant and the Home Office.

N/A Date are not available for 2000.

Information on asylum applications and initial decisions is published quarterly. The next publication will cover the third quarter (July to September) of 2002 and will be available from 29 November 2002 on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate web site at .html.

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many failed asylum seekers from Sri Lanka have been repatriated in each month for the last 12 months for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [78077]

Beverley Hughes: The latest 12 months data available for removals of Sri Lankan principal asylum applicants is for April 2001 to March 2002 and are given in the table.

MonthSri Lankan Principal applicants(22),(23)
April 200110
January 200220

(22) Estimates of asylum removals by nationality—principal applicants removed only. Includes persons departing 'voluntarily' after the initiation of enforcement action against them, and persons leaving under assisted voluntary returns programmes run by the international organisation for migration

(23) Figures are rounded to nearest five.

I regret that it is not possible to determine how many were repatriated, as persons removed from the UK are not necessarily returned to their country of origin. Information on the destination of those removed is not collated centrally and could only be obtained by examination of individual casefiles at disproportionate cost.

31 Oct 2002 : Column 944W

Mr Love: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent information on in-country conditions in Sri Lanka have been received from (a) other Government departments and (b) other organisations relating to the return of failed Tamil asylum seekers; and if he will make a statement. [78082]

Beverley Hughes: The Sri Lanka country assessment was updated in October 2002. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and British High Commission in Colombo both contribute up to date information and check the accuracy of the document. A range of other information is used from organisations such as Amnesty International, the British Refugee Council and the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture. A full list of the source material from these organisations can be found at annex D of the Country Assessment, which will be posted imminently on the Immigration and Nationality Directorate website at

Commission for Racial Equality

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will list the commissioners of the CRE, their dates of appointment and their remuneration. [77966]

Beverley Hughes: The names of the current commissioners of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), their dates of appointments and their remuneration as of 1 April 2002 are listed in the table:

Number/PositionNameDate of appointmentRemuneration (#)
1.Chair (Acting)
Beverley Bernard as Deputy ChairBeverley Bernard
Beverley Bernard7 August 2002
1 July 2000(24) 100,000.00
(24) 55,527
2. Deputy Chair (Acting)
Khurshid Ahmed as CommissionerKhurshid Ahmed23 August 2002
1 April 2002(25) 250.00
(26) 3,075.00
3. Deputy Chair (Acting)
Ian Barr as Commissioner representing the interests of the CBIIan Barr23 August 2002
1 April 2002(25) 250.00
(26) 3,075.00
4. Commissioner representing Scottish InterestsKay Hampton1 April 2002(26) 4,612.00
5. Commissioner representing Welsh InterestsCherry Short1 April 1998(26) 4,612.00
6. Commissioner representing the interest of the TUCGloria Mills1 April 2002(26) 3,075.00
7.Jagdish Gundara1 April 2002(26) 3,075.00
8.Sarah Spencer1 April 2002(26) 3,075.00
9.Patrick Passley1 April 1999(26) 3,075.00
10.Shushila Patel1 April 1999(26) 3,075.00
11.Gita Sootarsing1 April 1999(26) 3,075.00
12.Kamaljett Jandu1 June 2000(26) 3,075.00

(24) Pro rata

(25) A day

(26) Per annum(Commissioners are required to commit a minimum 20 days per annum, 30 days for those representing Scottish and Welsh interests

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when he last met (a) the Acting Chairman of the CRE, and (b) Mr. Gurbux Singh, in an official capacity. [77967]

31 Oct 2002 : Column 945W

Beverley Hughes: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary met Beverley Bernard, the Acting Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), on 30 October. This was the first official meeting as, due to diary commitments, previous meetings have not been possible.

My right hon. Friend last met with Gurbux Singh on 29 May 2002, in an official capacity.

The Home Secretary has regular quarterly meetings with the Chair or Acting Chair of the CRE to keep each other updated on issues of current and mutual interest with regard to race relations and equality. They also meet on other occasions during the year.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in which publications the post of Chairman of the CRE has been advertised. [77965]

Beverley Hughes: The advertisement has appeared in the following publications:

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