SNP members condemned the UK Government’s approach to asylum seekers and called for Scotland to be given the powers to create it’s own asylum system.

The SNP conference debated a topical motion following the traffic drowning of 27 people in the English Channel, who had been attempting to get to the UK to seek asylum and safety.

It comes after Priti Patel sparked a backlash from Scottish local authorities after trying to claim they had taken in less asylum seekers.

However, it was quickly pointed out to the Home Secretary that Glasgow has a higher percentage of asylum seekers than any other council in the UK.

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The resolution reads: “Conference believes that Scotland should continue to stand ready to offer sanctuary to those who need our help, and welcomes that Scotland has a strong and proud record of welcoming refugees.

“Conference condemns the UK Government’s inhumane approach to those seeking asylum and resolves that we should be given the powers in Scotland to build a much more compassionate system, founded on fairness and human rights.”

Moving the motion on Saturday, MSP Bill Kidd took a moment to recognise the “courageous and sadly desperate” asylum seekers who lost their life in the Channel.

The National:

Patel, above, sparked a backlash after trying to suggest Scotland didn't take its fair share of asylum seekers

He added: “Twenty seven people lost their lives on this trip and it was the worst loss of life of asylum seekers crossing the channel in recent years.”

Mourning the tragedy, Kidd added: “This underlines the gravity of the flaws of the current asylum system in the UK, a matter that is not presently in our hands but in the hands of the London government.

“Conference we must have the powers to do better.”

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Speaking after the vote, Stuart McDonald MP said: “SNP Members have today made the simple but vital point that people seeking asylum and crossing the Channel are human beings, whom we have a moral and legal duty to treat with dignity and compassion. We must never forget that.

“Tory ministers have spent years ignoring warnings over their damaging ‘hostile environment’ policies. The tragic event reported earlier this week should be a wake up call to the UK government to provide safe and legal routes to the UK for asylum seekers.”

The National:

McDonald (pictured above) added that the Tory ‘Anti-Refugee’ Bill will restrict reunion rights and put more people in a position where they feel they have no choice but to make the perilous journey across the channel.

He added: “It’s time to take a completely different approach – providing safe and legal routes for those escaping unimaginable horrors, broadening family reunion rights and providing humanitarian visas.

“The Westminster government is stopping us from doing more with its hostile environment policies – that is why Scotland must be given the powers to build its own, more compassionate asylum system.”