Lizzie Dearden Profile picture
Home affairs editor at the @Independent. Retweeting ≠ agreeing. 'Plotters: The UK Terrorists Who Failed' out on 23 March - pre-order at
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Mar 20 7 tweets 2 min read
This is the story of how a serving armed Metropolitan Police officer escaped prosecution for domestic abuse after controlling "every step" of the investigation into his case… I spoke to his former partner after she managed to leave the relationship

She said her ex used to respond to domestic abuse cases himself, and that after he was reported to police he wiped his phone history and dictated a victim statement aiming to get the probe “shut down”
Mar 19 4 tweets 2 min read
Exclusive:The government spent at least £30m on Royal Navy patrols in the English Channel that failed to deter small boat crossings

Operation Isotrope, which ran between April 2022 and end of January, has a “current recorded cost” of £29.7m that will rise… Ministers including Priti Patel had claimed that naval patrols would act as a “deterrent” but crossings rocketed to new record highs during the period

Despite a lack of evidence, "deterrence" is also the strategy underpinning policies including Rwanda and Illegal Migration Bill
Mar 18 11 tweets 4 min read
Breaking: Despite ongoing legal challenges being considered by the Court of Appeal, the UK government has rewritten the Rwanda deal to expand it to cover everyone crossing the Channel - including modern slavery victims - rather than just asylum seekers Suella Braverman has removed the previous test of "inadmissibility", which is detailed below, to bring it in line with her Illegal Migration Bill - which was only introduced in parliament this month and hasn't been scrutinised or considered in the Lords…
Mar 16 5 tweets 2 min read
Suella Braverman is to visit Rwanda as Britain’s £140m deal to send asylum seekers to the country remains mired in legal challenges

The home secretary is to reaffirm her commitment to the agreement, which is integral to the new Illegal Migration Bill… The home secretary will be departing for Kigali on Friday evening, accompanied by media representatives from outlets including GB News, the Daily Mail, Times, Express and Telegraph

The BBC, The Independent, The Guardian, Daily Mirror and i were not invited
Mar 12 5 tweets 1 min read
The Illegal Migration Bill will see modern slavery victims “abandoned” as the gangs abusing them go free, a former watchdog has warned

It would disqualify trafficking victims arriving on small boats from receiving support and allow them to be deported… 6,200 small boat migrants have been flagged to the National Referral Mechanism for modern slavery victims since 2018, including 2,700 in 2022

Home Office found 85% had “reasonable grounds” to be accepted as victim of human trafficking, slavery, servitude or forced labour
Mar 11 5 tweets 2 min read
I find polling on small boats very interesting because results vary dramatically depending on the question

For example, if the statement was "Afghan refugees should be detained and deported by the UK based on their method of arrival" what would the answer be? Key words in the People Polling statement are "people", "illegally" and "such as"

It widens it beyond the Channel to other forms of "illegal immigration". No reference to asylum seekers, even though 90% of small boat arrivals are and most claims are granted (eventually)
Mar 10 6 tweets 2 min read
A strange announcement about a "new detention centre" I'm France funded by the UK today

French authorities have no power to arrest and hold people for trying to cross the Channel, it isn't a crime… A clue from a Downing Street source who said the new detention centre would be based on existing facilities elsewhere in France

They are used for people without the legal right to remain in France who face deportation, much like UK immigration detention
Jan 14 7 tweets 2 min read
The Suella Braverman v Holocaust survivor saga isn't the first time the Home Office has picked an ill-advised fight on Twitter

In January 2021, they tweeted this about a completely accurate article I'd written
In a press conference, the head of the National Police Chiefs' Council was asked about govt statements claiming holiday travel was banned under Covid laws

It wasn't at the time and he made clear that police had the same powers in airports as anywhere else…
Jan 12 5 tweets 2 min read
Victims of torture and trafficking are being wrongly detained by the Home Office, a damning report has found

An inspection found that legally-required checks on whether migrants have mental or physical health issues were not being properly carried out… Required protections are "held back by a narrative that placed abuse of the system ahead of protecting the vulnerable,” the immigration watchdog said

"It is absolutely clear that there are individuals in the system who have suffered torture and are the victims of trafficking.”
Dec 16, 2022 7 tweets 2 min read
New: Ministers are ripping up protections for torture victims and asylum seekers being held at Manston

As well as increasing the legal detention limit from 1 to 4 days, a new law dramatically downgrades standards of healthcare, legal advice and conditions… The changes were lodged as a statutory instrument without debate in parliament, or a public announcement, yesterday and will come into force on 5 January

Charities have accused the government of making it “easier to get away with horrors” at Manston and "evading scrutiny"
Dec 16, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
The Royal Navy will hand responsibility for small boat crossings in the English Channel back to the Home Office next month after eight months of “primacy”

The new Small Boats Operational Command, announced by Rishi Sunak, will be led by Border Force… The Navy saw its main aims as preventing loss of life, securing the border and ensuring no boats reached land undetected, but Home Office officials repeatedly claimed the operation would act as a “deterrent”

Crossings rocketed to new records after the Navy took primacy in April
Dec 15, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
A teenager was among the four victims of the English Channel boat disaster and more people are feared to have died

The missing people would bring the total death toll of the sinking to eight… French authorities said that the current cold sea temperature in the Channel had reduced the survival time for anyone in the water to two hours

The authority confirmed that charity Utopia56 gave French coastguard the boat’s position, after receiving a voice note from a passenger
Dec 14, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
Questions have been raised over the speed of rescue response to the English Channel tragedy as searches continues

The UK says it was alerted to boat in distress at 3am but charity said they received distress call before 2 and called French coastguard… The tragedy came just over a year after at least 27 migrants drowned when a boat capsized in the Channel

Passengers made calls for help for hours but when survivor begging for help told French authorities people were in the sea, they replied:“Yes, but you are in English waters”
Dec 14, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
Suella Braverman is refusing to set up new safe and legal routes for asylum seekers despite at least 4 people drowning in Channel

The government was accused of having “blood on its hands” and “forcing people" on dinghies by failing to create alternatives… The home secretary told MPs that Channel crossings were “totally unnecessary”, reiterating PM’s pledge to refuse asylum to small boat migrants

“We will extend safe and legal routes once we have dealt with the appalling people smuggling gangs risking people’s lives,” she added
Dec 14, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
Asked by SNP's Alison Thewliss about the lack of safe and legal alternatives to Channel boat crossings, and urged to bring them in now rather than "at some vague point in the future", Suella Braverman says:

"I strongly dispute suggestion that our system is somehow inadequate" A reminder that in the last year, 85,902 people made conventional asylum applications after reaching the UK, but only 1,391 people were resettled to the UK through resettlement schemes

Those are the only option left open to refugees under the system the PM and home sec want
Dec 13, 2022 7 tweets 2 min read
Rishi Sunak’s plan to deny asylum to migrants arriving on small boats violates international law and undermines Britain’s “humanitarian tradition”, the United Nations has said

The UN Refugee Agency appealed to Britain “uphold its legal obligations”… The prime minister told MPs that his proposed legislation will “make it unambiguously clear that, if you enter the UK illegally, you should not be able to remain"

“Instead, you will be detained and swiftly returned either to your home country or to a safe country," he added
Nov 23, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
The home secretary has repeatedly refused to answer questions on the legal advice she was given over the Manston migrant processing facility

Suella Braverman was asked 7 times when she was told it was unlawful during a Home Affairs Committee session… The home secretary said she could not disclose content of legal advice but added: “In every decision I have made, I have always taken legal advice into account…if you’re suggesting I ignored legal advice that is not true"

Five legal challenges have been launched over Manston
Nov 21, 2022 7 tweets 2 min read
The British government did not formally assess if Shamima Begum was a victim of trafficking before putting her in "exile for life", a court has heard

Her lawyers argue she was trafficked to Syria for the purposes of sexual exploitation by Isis fighters… Today was the start of a five-day hearing at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission over the decision to deprive her of British citizenship

Her lawyers argue Sajid Javid, then the home secretary, acted unlawfully by failing to take proper steps - days after a 'media storm'
Oct 22, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
Exclusive: The Home Office’s top asylum chief has quit, The Independent can reveal

It comes amid mounting “chaos and confusion” over rapidly-changing home secretaries, Channel crossings and the troubled Rwanda deal… Emma Haddad’s post as the director general for asylum and protection has been abolished following her resignation

Her high-profile responsibilities have been rolled in with the DG for “customer services”,which already covers the Passport Office, UK Visas and Immigration and more
Oct 21, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
Very interesting first public speech by the new home sec

Grant Shapps says he wants to stop Channel migrant crossings and combat people traffickers but no mention of Rwanda. He says he wants "close cooperation with our friends on the continent" This is a marked olive branch to the French, who have not forgotten Liz Truss' response when asked if Macron was a "friend or foe" - it was featured in all major French news outlets' stories on her resignation

Macron said he hoped for "stability" in UK…
Oct 21, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
Liz Truss and Suella Braverman’s plan to issue police with targets to cut crimes including murder by 20 per cent has been paused as officers demand engagement with the government

It was still at an early stage of development when the home sec resigned… No details had been given of how the targets would be measured or implemented despite Truss first announcing them during her leadership campaign in July

Braverman confirmed term in a letter to police leaders and her Conservative Party conference speech, but with no further info