KEIR Starmer has said that there are “particular cases” where he would support tracking asylum seekers with electronic tags.

The UK Government rolled out GPS tagging of some migrants facing deportation in January, allowing authorities to track their every move.

However, a coalition of charities recently called for the practice to be scrapped in a report titled Every Move You Make: the human cost of GPS tagging in the immigration system.

The coalition, which included the charities Bail for Immigration Detainees, Medical Justice, and the Public Law Project, said the practice could cause serious mental and physical damage to immigrants.

Their research showed that as well as stigmatising migrants the heavy tags could also cause discomfort and exacerbate conditions such as eczema.

When asked whether he supported the policy during an interview on Sky News, Keir Starmer said: “I think there's a case for tagging in particular cases.

“But I’ll tell you what I would do, which I think is more likely to fix the problem and it's two things. One, I’d put resources into the National Crime Agency so we could bust the trafficking gangs upstream, because these gangs are making huge amounts of money.

“The second thing I would do is get the asylum claims processed. Tagging is something you do whilst the claim is being processed. Of all the people who arrived by small boats in 2021, 4 per cent have had their claims processed. That is utter failure by the government.”

Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer reacted to Starmer’s comments with dismay, writing on Twitter: “F*** this. Independence really can’t come soon enough.”

However, in a now deleted tweet a parliamentary assistant for the Scottish Labour MSP Sarah Boyack took issue with Greer’s language rather than the policy of tagging migrants.

He said: “Lovely language from Scotland’s least lovable MSP”.

Greer has since blasted Starmer's comments as "shameful". 

He said: “What exactly is the point of a Labour party which behaves like a tribute to the Tories rather than a genuine opposition?

“First, they abandoned the working class, refused to stand with trade unions, washed their hands of Europe and now they’re back to victimising asylum seekers. 

He added: “Tagging people fleeing the devastation of war or famine, who are escaping from rape or persecution, is state-sponsored psychological torture. It treats vulnerable people who have done nothing wrong or illegal like they are criminals.

“Keir Starmer is proposing the dehumanisation of individuals, stripping them of their dignity, and deliberately degrading their spirit in a blatant attempt to force them to leave. It is shameful and a betrayal of human rights." 

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Migration historian Professor Tanja Bueltmann said that Labour’s approach to such issues were one of the reasons she felt that independence was the right choice for Scotland.

She tweeted: “This kind of approach—this is really just one example—is one of the key reasons why I support Scottish independence. Within the UK, we cannot hope to end the hostile environment because Labour supports it just as much. As with Brexit, there is no better future on offer this way.

“If even on such ideas as GPS tagging people who are seeking sanctuary Starmer is unable and/or unwilling to reject them on principle, there really is nothing left to say. At some point one has to want to be better and not continually seek to pander to the xenophobic fringe.”

It comes as the Labour Party’s plans for reshaping the UK’s political landscape were criticised for offering “nothing of substance”.