'Go home' immigration vans to be scrapped
CONTROVERSIAL ‘go home’ vans clamping down on immigration are to be scrapped, dashing hopes of Forest of Dean MP Mark Harper who had hopes of extending the scheme.
Immigration minister Mr Harper came under fire when the Home Office backed ads appeared on billboards carried by vans across six London boroughs.
Home Secretary Theresa May has called the vans ‘too much of a blunt instrument’.
She said the experiment trialled in parts of London in July was not going to be extended during the second reading of the immigration bill.
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The decision is a blow to Mr Harper who said last week on BBC1's Question Time the venture might be extended.
In comments to MPs, Mrs May said she had studied an evaluation of the campaign and concluded it should not be taken further.
She said: “Politicians should be willing to step up to the plate and say when they think something actually hasn't been as good an idea, and I think they were too blunt an instrument.”
Liberal Democrats said that they opposed the vans as a matter of principle.
Business secretary, Vince Cable, described the vans as stupid.
Julian Huppert, a Liberal Democrat home affairs committee member, said the vans had demonised people who were in the country legitimately.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper branded the vans a divisive gimmick. The project was a complete failure that was beneath May and ‘ought to be beneath this government’.