Green party

Green peer in asylum bill victory

24 October 2002

The House of Lords has voted for a humanitarian amendment to the asylum bill following the actions of Green Party peer Lord Beaumont of Whitley.Lord Beaumont hosted a debate which led to an important amendment to the nationality, immigration and asylum bill on Wednesday. The House of Lords voted to overturn a government plan to teach the children of asylum seekers in camps instead of local schools.

Lord Beaumont said: "I sponsored the meeting last night that was referred to in so many speeches. Statements from participants were immensely moving. Everyone spoke with one voice against the bill."

The Green peer, who is the only Green Party representative in the Westminster parliament, added "The amendment was carried by a single vote. I'm pleased that the Green Party view prevailed, but it's a continuing disappointment that a civilised country should be treating asylum seekers this way."

Government plan "divisive and unacceptable"

He concluded: "The Government's plans to teach children seeking asylum in camps rather than in schools is a divisive one, and something simply untenable in a modern society. This sort of isolation makes it difficult for families to become accepted in our community, and allows prejudice born of ignorance to fester."