POLITICIANS and refugee organisations will today launch a drive for an independent inquiry into the placement of asylum seekers in Scottish hotels following Friday’s horrific knife attack.

Badreddin Abdallah Adam, 28, was shot dead by armed Police Scotland officers after six people – three fellow asylum seekers, two hotel workers and Constable David Whyte, who was responding to the incident – were stabbed.

The Radisson-owned Park Inn on Glasgow’s West Regent Street was being used to house asylum seekers in a highly criticised move by Mears Group, which holds the Home Office contract to provide accommodation to this population.

It said it would make the group of more than 300 people safer during the pandemic and each of the six hotels selected was treated as a single household to adhere to government guidelines.

As soon as the policy emerged, campaigners and expert agencies said this would put vulnerable and traumatised people at risk of further harm due to the loss of privacy, liberty and £35-per-week subsistence support. That cash was removed because meals are supplied in the hostelries, but residents have complained over the quality and amount of food allocated to them.

The bloody incident happened just one minute away from the offices of refugee charity Positive Action in Housing (PAIH). It remains under investigation and the cause has not yet been determined.

However, claims have emerged that Mears was warned about the perpetrator’s mental health by other residents on Thursday night. The company has not commented on that claim.

Today, people affected by the events will join elected officials and representatives of refugee organisations at the PAIH offices to push for “an independent investigation into Mears’s procurement by the Home Office, the recent events surrounding hotel detention and for a restoration of money and residential accommodation for 380 asylum seekers currently clustered in hotels all over Glasgow since the end of March/beginning of April”.

A debate on Covid-19 and asylum seeker services in Glasgow was held in the House of Commons less than two weeks ago, when Glasgow South West MP Chris Stephens raised the “horrific stories of asylum seekers and their treatment by the Home Office contractor” in the press.

During that session, Stephens said he and “many others” were “furious” to have learned that evictions of asylum seekers, which paused during lockdown, are to restart this coming month.

MP Chris Philp, speaking for the UK Government, said they “can be proud of our record, and I am happy to stand here and defend it”.

However, Glasgow East MP David Linden said the minister was “talking absolute crap”, adding: “He talks about how welcoming the UK is. They are the same UK Government that had ‘Go Home’ vans going round communities, and the hostile environment.”

The residents were moved into the hotels without any vulnerability assessment. When this was done afterwards, pregnant women, those with serious health problems and families with young children were moved back out.

On Thursday Mears said it stood by its actions and on Friday it said it was “deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic events in Glasgow”. Yesterday the No Evictions Network said it and others have “repeatedly raised concerns about the hotels”.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Accommodation has been allocated in this particular way because of the Covid-19 crisis. We constantly review the methods around asylum, the accommodation, the provision, the support, all of which is in line with law.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Throughout this pandemic, we have prioritised providing asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute with free and safe accommodation that enables public health guidance to be followed as well as access to healthcare services. Cash allowances are not provided as their essential living needs and costs are being met by the accommodation provider."