Talking asylum with SWVG

Steve Brine hosted the Southampton & Winchester Visitors Group (SWVG) in London on Monday 13th October 2011, as they met with Border Agency officials and the Ministry of Justice to discuss the many issues around asylum seekers.

SWVG, represented by Angela Sealey and John Mellor, is a small registered charity which gives personal, practical and financial support to asylum seekers. They wanted to discuss the progress of the Early Legal Advice Project, and discuss possible obstacles to its implementation. They were also joined by Jo Renshaw, a leading asylum lawyer based in Oxford who is advising the group.

Following the meeting, Angela Sealey said: "Representatives of the Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group to asylum seekers were very pleased to have the opportunity, arranged by Steve Brine, to meet with senior officials from the UK Border Agency and the Ministry of Justice to talk about our work locally with asylum seekers, and especially, to discuss how the asylum process and legal aid can be improved for the benefit of all of us."

Steve Brine added: "I was delighted to meet SWVG here today, and I am very aware of their dedicated, hard work locally. I hope it was useful for them as we covered a lot of ground including changes to legal aid and their effect on asylum legal work, the Early Legal Advice Project (ELAP) which is currently being trialled in the East Midlands and several other specific issues such as the use of charter flights for failed asylum seekers and country of origin status."

Pictured; Steve joins members of SWVG outside the Home Office in Marsham Street, Westminster