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Live Reporting

Craig Hutchison and Louise Wilson

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live!

    Asylum seekers

    That's all from Holyrood Live on Thursday 1 November 2018.

    The campaign to allow asylum seekers the right to work has received cross-party support at the Scottish parliament.

    MSPs took part in a debate on supporting asylum seekers in Scotland, where the destitution faced by many was criticised.

    Tory MSP Michelle Ballantyne urged the UK government to consider relaxing the restriction on the right to work, in contrast to her party's policy at UK level.

    Relatedly, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon committed to taking action to end homelessness among those who had no recourse to public funds.

    She was responding to a question from Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie who called for emergency accommodation to be provided in light of asylum seekers in Glasgow facing eviction.

  2. The motion from the asylum debate, as amended by all, is agreed to

    motions and amendments

    The motion from the asylum debate, as amended by all, is agreed to, with 81 MSPs backing it and 28 against.

    The Labour amendment went to a vote, also with 81 MSPs backing it and with 28 against.

    So did the Greens amendment which was also agreed to with the same vote totals.

  3. Asylum decision making must be fair and faster says minister

    Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell
    Image caption: Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell

    Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell says we must create a welcoming response to people forced to flee their homes.

    Asylum decision making must be fair and must not lead them hanging on, unable to get on with their lives she says.

    Ms Campbell urges the Home Office to engage in efforts to find a long-term solution either by funding an accommodation provider or local authorities.

    Our total emergency funding is £150,000 she says but she accepts this is only a sticking plaster for flaws in the system.

  4. Labour and Tories closing speeches in asylum debate

    Labour MSP Alex Rowley
    Image caption: Labour MSP Alex Rowley

    Labour MSP Alex Rowley says the UK can and should do more and he says the current experience of those seeeking refuge or asylum is not good.

    Mr Rowley goes on to say the Home Office process is slow and the standard of proof is unrealistically high.

    Tory MSP Jamie Greene
    Image caption: Tory MSP Jamie Greene

    Tory MSP Jamie Greene says his party believes there is merit for the case for further employment opportunities to be heard.

    He says Michelle Ballantyne has written to the home secretary on this issue.

    Mr Greene expresses frustration that MSPs cannot make representation to the Home Office on behalf of asylum seekers and confirms he will write to the UK government on this matter.

  5. Greens and Lib Dems call for more support

    Alex Cole-Hamilton and Patrick Harvie

    Moving to closing speeches, Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton welcomes the consensus of the debate.

    He says the asylum seekers he has met have been desperate to contribute to society and we should give them that opportunity.

    Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie seeks information on the timescale for the emergency provision of accommodation.

    He criticises "years and years of racist propaganda both from the UK government and from the far right press" and says many people want to help in response to that.

  6. Here's the Lib Dem amendment

    Here's the Lib Dem amendment
    Image caption: Here's the Lib Dem amendment
  7. Lib Dem MSP says 65.3m people have had to flee there homes across the globe

    Lib Dem MSP Alex-Cole Hamilton
    Image caption: Lib Dem MSP Alex-Cole Hamilton

    Lib Dem MSP Alex-Cole Hamilton insists profit should play no role in providing accommodation for asylum seekers.

    Mr Cole-Hamilton tells the chamber 65.3m people have had to flee there homes across the globe and all of the suffer trauma, destitution and dislocation.

    He says there is both the public policy response and the community response to this crisis.

    The Lib Dem MSP cites a number of projects who support asylum seekers in Edinburgh.

  8. People evicted from homes must have a place to go says Harvie

    Mr Harvie calls for fundamental change in the system.

    However, he also argues the Scottish government can take some action now and welcomes the first minister's commitments during FMQs on this.

    The UK government must be pressed to act on the Smith Commission recommendations, the Green MSP argues.

    We must ensure that people being forced from their homes by Serco have a place to go and that those supporting them have the support of the Scottish government, Mr Harvie concludes.

  9. This is the Green amendment

    This is the Green amendment
    Image caption: This is the Green amendment
  10. Scottish Green co-convener critisices 'hostile' approach to migrants

    Mr Harvie

    Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie says dawn raids and detention without time limits are still being used today.

    It is part of the UK government's "hostile" approach to migrants, not just asylum seekers he states.

    Asylum seekers are placed in grossly inadequate housing and this forms part of a deliberate policy of destitution, he insists.

    Serco is complicit, Mr Harvie says.

  11. 'We believe that the lifting the ban on the right to work is the humane to do'

    Ms McNeill says that, according to the Refugee Council, there must be partnership and local oversight of dispersal, or there is a real risk local authorities will withdraw.

    She says she is proud of the record of Glasgow and even Scotland on this.

    "We to believe that to lift the ban on the right to work is the humane thing to do."

  12. Here is Labour's amendment

    Here is Labour's amendment
    Image caption: Here is Labour's amendment
  13. 'Forced destitution of asylum seekers is never an acceptable policy'

    Labour MSP Pauline McNeill
    Image caption: Labour MSP Pauline McNeill

    Labour MSP Pauline McNeill welcomes Michelle Ballantyne's view that the rules around work should be relaxed and wonders if that is her party's official position.

    Ms McNeill says Labour agrees with the Greens and the Scottish government that: "Forced destitution of asylum seekers is never an acceptable policy."

    She points out that the Syrian war has led to 12m people having to flee their homes.

    "We have only taken 10,000 of those poor people and we are involved every day in that conflict," she adds.

    The Labour MSP says there is a cause and effect of being in a war and that is the number of asylum seekers and refugees coming to the UK.

  14. Asylum seekers should be offered friendship says Tory MSP

    Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie suggests the UK government's policies deliberately cause destitution.

    Ms Ballantyne disagrees it is deliberate, but accepts the right to work can prevent such scenarios.

    Asylum seekers to not come out of choice, they come out of desperation and they deserve to be offered friendship the Tory MSP concludes.

  15. Here is the Tory amendment

    Here is the Tory amendment
    Image caption: Here is the Tory amendment
  16. Tory MSP urges UK government to relax restrictions on work for asylum seekers

    Tory MSP Michelle Ballantyne
    Image caption: Tory MSP Michelle Ballantyne

    Tory MSP Michelle Ballantyne says that 3.1 million people worldwide are classified as asylum seekers.

    We need to ensure we don't put people's lives on hold as they undergo the asylum process, which can take years, the Tory MSP suggests.

    Ms Ballantyne calls on the UK government to consider relaxing the restriction on work for this reason.

    We must give people a real chance, allow them to work and enable them to move forward and integrate, she says.

  17. Minister calls for 'more humane way' to deal with asylum seekers

    Ms Campbell

    Ms Campbell says people seeking asylum must survive on £5.30 per day.

    Most of us spend that on food, she says, before you consider clothes and travel.

    The cabinet secretary argues asylum seekers risk becoming homeless and penniless and face the ending of all support if their appeal fails.

    Reserved asylum and refugee legislation leads to destitution she says and calls for a more humane way forward.

  18. Background: 'I'd rather die than live on the street' says asylum seeker

    Khalil Fatahy

    An asylum seeker facing eviction from his accommodation in Glasgow has said he would "rather die than live on the street".

    Iranian national Khalil Fatahy is one of six people told to leave by Home Office housing contractor Serco.

    The bid to evict the asylum seekers has been paused while charities and rights groups challenge it in the courts.

    Mr Fatahy told BBC Scotland he just wanted to be given the right to work so he could "earn his way out" of poverty.

    Read more.

  19. Minister criticises lack of funding for Glasgow City Council

    Glasgow has been a willing partner in asylum dispersal for more than 20 years, the minister tells the chamber.

    However, it does not receive funding to support this despite it being reserved and other councils in England being assisted she explains.

    Ms Campbell expresses disappointment that the tender for accommodation services put out by the Home Office did not allow for a public sector bid.

    She goes on to highlight that many unaccompanied children have been identified as victims of human trafficking.

    The cabinet secretary backs the Lift The Ban campaign which is calling for asylum seekers to be given the right to work.