Home Office writes to Deighton Pierce Glynn after threat of legal action over "go home" van campaign, says no more without prior consultations
Home Office agrees to conduct consultations ahead of any further "go home" campaigns
12 August 2013
Following the threat of court action over the controversial "go home or face arrest" vans, the Home Office has written to Deighton Pierce Glynn solicitors saying they "agree not to carry out any further campaigns in communities encouraging illegal immigrants to leave the UK without having due regard to the effect this will have on migrants living lawfully in those communities."
You can read the Home Office's letter here.
Deighton Pierce Glynn was representing clients who challenged the Home Office's "go home" pilot campaign based on the Government's failure to comply with the public sector equality duty under the Equality Act 2010. This duty requires the Government to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination and harassment based on race and religion, as well as to foster good relations between people from different racial and religious groups.
Deighton Pierce Glynn says the campaign displayed an "inflammatory nature" and a consultation should have been carried out before the pilot began so that the Government could have properly considered the effect of the campaign before deciding whether to go ahead.
In its reply to Deighton Pierce Glynn, the Home Office said it made no apology for conducting immigration enforcement operations, and it considers it was entitled to use mobile billboards to highlight its legitimate enforcement activity in the pilot scheme.
However, the Home Office acknowledged that the campaign had provoked strong views from a number of individuals and groups. With this in mind, the Home Office confirmed that any further campaigns of a similar nature would be carried out following a consultation with local authorities and community groups.
"I am happy to give you an assurance that if the Home Office were to carry out any further campaigns we would have due regard to the effect this will have on migrants living lawfully in those communities and, in doing so, would consider the views of your clients and others as set out in your correspondence," the Home Office wrote in its reply.