LOCK-change evictions against “failed” asylum seekers are not illegal, the Court of Session has ruled.

Home Office contractor Serco provoked outrage last summer when it planned to “move on” residents of some of its Glasgow properties.

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Individuals affected had reached the end of the UK asylum process and were no longer in receipt of government support. Critics said the repossessions would exacerbate hardship and suffering for destitute and vulnerable people and the process was halted after legal challenges began.

Yesterday Court of Session judge Lord Tyre dismissed a case brought by Govan Law Centre, which claimed removals against two women were unlawful, breaching tenancy and human rights rules.

But Lord Tyre said he was “not persuaded” of the arguments made against Serco and the Home Office.

The National:

Serco – which will stop housing asylum seekers in Scotland from September – welcomed the result but said no immediate action is planned.

Senior figure Julia Rodgers said: “We unreservedly welcomed the legal challenge as it would enable all parties to clarify what was at that point an untested area of Scottish law. Today we have that clarity.”

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The Home Office said: “We have and will continue to work closely with local authorities and partners to ensure that those who have no right to be in the UK leave their accommodation in a safe and secure way. We are working with Glasgow City Council to agree and implement a support advice referral process for those at risk of potential eviction.”

Govan Law Centre is to consider the “complex and comprehensive” judgement. Its solicitor advocate Mike Dailly commented: “Standing today’s court ruling, any asylum seeker threatened with a lock-change eviction in Scotland will need to challenge that decision by lodging an urgent appeal to the First Tier Immigration Tribunal. The practicalities of people being able to do so are challenging and not always straight-forward.”