There is a strong feeling that Priti Patel is out of step with the majority of this country – including her own constituency – by continuing to deny asylum seekers a right to work.
A recent survey carried out on behalf of the Lift the Ban Coalition showed that 70 per cent of those consulted believe asylum seekers should have the right to work, including in the Home Secretary’s Witham constituency in Essex.
The Lift the Ban Coalition includes businesses, economic think tanks, recruitment firms, trade unions, refugee organisations and faith groups.
Ms Patel is also thought to be at loggerheads with members of her own cabinet, including Justice Secretary Dominic Raab and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, after insisting at the Tory Party conference earlier this month that the ban should remain in force. Her stubbornness comes despite a High Court Judge ruling last week that the government was acting unlawfully by denying Honduran asylum seeker Allan Cordona the right to work.
Mr Cordona, his wife and four year old daughter have been forced to rely on foodbanks to survive. They are expected to live on £5.65 per day per person, which campaigners say is causing destitution and declining mental health among asylum seekers.
Tim Naor Hilton, Refugee Action Chief executive said: “These results show that when it comes to giving people in our asylum system the right to work Priti Patel, Boris Johnson and Cabinet ministers are badly out of step with the British public.
Poll after poll shows voters back lifting the ban, because it is common sense. Preventing people from working stops integration, costs the taxpayer almost £200 million a year and causes appalling mental health problems among refugees”.
Paul Hook, campaign and support group Assylum Matters director said: “It makes no sense for the government to stop people from using their skills to play a full part in society. This misguided, unpopular policy has done enough harm”.
“Britain is suffering a labour shortage of one million workers according to government statistics.