30 July 2012
Detention-related comments that the parliamentarians made during these debates are summarised in the briefing paper below. Several NGOs’ names were mentioned in the debates, but we are aware of other NGOs who submitted briefing papers and other information to MPs and peers prior to the debates. It is encouraging to see that the vast majority of the parliamentarians who mentioned immigration detention have had some contact with the Detention Forum in the past. It also shows the need for the NGOs to encourage more parliamentarians to speak about detention in future debates.
The tones of the two debates were quite different, and it is advisable to read the entire debates to fully appreciate the difference. The House of Lords debate appears to have had more coherency of tone than the House of Commons debate. It is important to note overt and covert anti-immigration sentiments expressed by some of the MPs to understand the context in which these detention-related comments were made. Most importantly, however, the Ministers speaking for the Government did not respond directly to any detention issues which were raised during the debates.