The government wasted £1.9 million on “phantom” deportations last year by booking seats on planes for failed asylum seekers who then never showed up. The bill, which was incurred by the Home Office under Theresa May’s watch, was higher than at any time in the last three years.
The seats were booked when someone failed to be granted asylum but then left empty after the person in question launched an appeal.A Tory MP said taxpayers’ money was being wasted on “bogus” legal challenges and said the news would drive his constituents “absolutely mad”.The figure was contained in the Home Office’s annual report, which details the department’s losses as how much it has had to pay out for legal challenges.
“A constructive loss of £1.9 million was incurred by the Home Office as a result of the cancellations of scheduled flights intended to remove ineligible asylum seekers, due to them being granted the right to appeal,” it read.
The year before the figure was £1.58million, while in 2013/14 it was £1.744million, meaning Mrs May has failed to cut out the wastage in recent years.The report also revealed the Home Office has had to pay out £21.9 million for 3,543 legal claims including 50 compensation cases costing totaling almost a million pounds.
The department had to pay out £420,000 in legal costs for a case where a spouse had been denied access to the UK and £320,000 for overturning a decision to exclude two people from Britain.