THE UK Government is “stripping the humanity” of refugees by treating them as numbers, a committee convener has said.

Kaukab Stewart, SNP MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, Scotland’s third most diverse constituency, said that Westminster’s Illegal Migration Bill and the bid to send migrants to Rwanda should “absolutely be scrapped” and that their treatment of asylum seekers is "appalling".

Stewart is convener of the Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee, which has just finished an inquiry into provisions for asylum seekers and refugees in Scotland, with a draft report expected at some point after Holyrood returns from summer recess.

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The Glasgow MSP told The National’s Holyrood Weekly podcast that during the committee’s inquiry, she heard harrowing stories from refugees who were asking for basic assistance.

While the report has not been drafted, Stewart said that key themes such as access to free bus travel, the problems with hotel accommodation and the fact that the funds to support asylum seekers are given to “private profit-making company” Mears, rather than the Scottish Government.

Asylum seekers and refugees are not allowed recourse to public funds, and are given £45 a week to live on, Stewart added.

It comes as the Court of Appeal found that the UK Government’s plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda are unlawful. Home Secretary Suella Braverman refused to accept the ruling and insisted she was committed to the policy.

The National: Suella Braverman has blamed 'phoney humanitarianism' for the UK Government's failure to stop small

Braverman (pictured above) and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have repeatedly said they want to “stop the boats” filled with migrants risking their lives to cross the English Channel, while human rights experts have pointed out that legal routes have been closed to asylum seekers.

The number of Channel crossings of those in small groups have grown, from 3140 in June last year to 3303 in the same month this year, but Stewart said presenting migrants who are fleeing war and trauma as numbers is simply a “distraction” from the Tory Government’s problems and economic mismanagement.

"The stripping of humanity of people and seeing them as numbers is just appalling, and I do think it's a distraction,” she said.

"There are so many other things that are going on that Westminster is failing on and Hollywood is constantly having to mitigate those harms.

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"But it suits them to get everybody to look at the immigrants, the immigrants are the problem, that the asylum seekers are the problem.

"They are not the problem. The problem is the system, and the system is made up by Westminster and the Home Office, that is the problem.

"That's what needs to be addressed."

Stewart insisted that the Rwanda policy and Illegal Migration Bill should be “absolutely scrapped”.

“I'll tell you what's appalling and disgusting actually is how this Tory government is holding on to it for all their worth,” she added.

The National: Demonstrators at a removal centre at Gatwick protest against plans to send migrants to Rwanda. Migrants rights groups hold a show of support for people detained at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre at Gatwick who are scheduled to be sent to Rwanda.

“The amount of money that they have spent on these chartered flights that are not being used, if that money was actually put into the system to actually be able to hire enough people so that people are processed - that would be a much better use of their money.”

Stewart, who spoke to migrants living in Scotland as part of the committee’s inquiry, said that “people are living in suspended lives” because the backlog is “so horrendous”.

“I personally, and it's a personal opinion, I think it's a deliberate strategy to not have enough people that are working on cases, then you've got a glut, and then the Westminster Government can turn around and say, oh, we've got thousands and thousands of cases.

“That's not the refugees making, that is actually the system that is dysfunctioning, and that is a deliberate way to make it dysfunction to feed into this hostile narrative.”

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When The National contacted the Home Office for their response to Stewart’s comments, the press office pointed to Braverman’s statement from the day before and her statement in the House of Commons.

The Home Secretary claimed that the Rwanda plan is “in line” with the UN’s Refugee Convention.

“While we are disappointed with their ruling in relation to Rwanda’s asylum system, I will be seeking permission to appeal this,” Braverman said.

“I remain fully committed to this policy as does the Rwandan government.”