THE Home Office will no longer speak to MSPs about their constituents on immigration matters – and will only work directly with MPs.

The news came in a response to a query about a constituent case and emerged one day after a Westminster committee slammed communications between London and devolved parliaments as “not fit for purpose”.

The UK Government insisted it has been “constructively engaging” with the legislatures. But the letter, sent by a member of the UK Visas and Immigration team, says that internal teams “will not respond to any immigration matters about individuals” raised by MSPs.

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It was directed to the SNP’s Fulton MacGregor in response to an enquiry about Coatbridge mother Olya Merry, whose deportation fight has been highlighted by The National.

MacGregor said last night: “This response from the Home Secretary is a disgrace and shows the contempt in which the Scottish Parliament is held by the UK Government.

“I have been supporting the Merry family for months now in their attempt to restart their normal family life in Coatbridge and now the new Home Secretary has decided that he will no longer respond to MSP enquiries.

“It is unacceptable for the Home Office to simply refuse to deal with queries from elected parliamentarians, simply because they don’t like the question.”

The letter states: “The Home Secretary takes the view that, as immigration is a matter reserved for the Westminster Parliament, engagement with Westminster MPs on constituents’ immigration cases is the most appropriate route to follow.

“Furthermore, the Home Office currently receives in excess of 45,000 letters and 18,000 phone calls from MPs per year on immigration matters and is, by far, the biggest recipient of constituency case correspondence in government.

“Responding to these requires significant resources from within the department that would otherwise be deployed to resolve cases and this approach to enquiries from devolved administrations reflects the need to improve efficiency by reducing duplication.

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“In practice this, means MP account management teams will not respond to any immigration matters about individuals that you might raise but we will, of course, continue to respond to any matters relating to immigration policy or non-case specific issues.”

Adding that Olya Merry’s MP Hugh Gaffney will receive a “full response”, the letter continues: “If you do not want to make use of these channels and still want personally to represent Ms Merry, please let us know and we will pass your enquiry to the public enquiry team who will provide you with a response.

“I am sorry I could not provide more information.”