DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Bring dodgy asylum lawyers to justice now
There is no mystery as to why so many asylum seekers dream of a life in Britain.
Contrary to what the disparaging liberal Left might say, ours is a welcoming, tolerant country with a noble history of giving a haven to genuine refugees fleeing war and oppression.
Those granted sanctuary will be housed, given generous benefits and healthcare, and be allowed to work. They could ultimately acquire citizenship.
However, the system is sustainable only if public confidence is maintained. This means ensuring the rules are not abused by illegal immigrants who have no right to be here. That, in turn, relies on immigration lawyers acting with honesty and integrity.
So the Mail’s revelation this week that unscrupulous solicitors are charging big bucks to help clients falsely claim asylum is both shocking and dispiriting.
Pictured: Muhammad Azfar from Kingswright Solicitors who suggested a marriage ploy to client
Lawyer Vinnasythamby Lingajothy (pictured) offered to invent a horrific back story of torture, beatings, slave labour and death threats for an asylum application
This disgraceful conduct not only exploits the British people’s goodwill, it poses a security risk, financially burdens the taxpayer, pushes law-abiding refugees down the asylum queue and encourages Channel migrants to risk their lives.
So it is a huge victory for this paper that the Solicitors Regulation Authority has begun an urgent probe into the scandal.
Given that the rogue lawyers boasted of their dodgy practices on our cameras, hard evidence of corruption already exists. The regulators must throw the book at them.
Rishi Sunak also deserves applause for his admirably robust response to our exposé. He’s right to denounce activist solicitors and Labour for thwarting efforts to end the small-boats crisis.
The liberal Left peddles the idea that all asylum seekers are genuine and all immigration lawyers are saints. Our investigation proves that’s a lie.
Rashid Ahmad Khan, from Rashid & Rashid Solicitors, offered to invent dangers of life in India
No simple solution
At a time when countless households are struggling to pay high energy bills, the Mail can understand the fury at British Gas’s record half-yearly profits of £1billion.
The firm faces accusations of profiteering on the back of the Ukraine war.
Inevitably, Labour and the unions want more aggressive windfall taxes – and even for the firm to be nationalised. But the issue is complex. For a start, gas bills were allowed to soar under Ofgem’s price cap.
British Gas already pays huge sums in tax and is investing heavily in the UK’s energy security – making it less likely the lights will go out. On top of that, its dividends boost pension funds – and give a windfall to half a million small shareholders.
Critics may be right that the vast profits prove Britain’s energy market is broken. There’s no simple solution. Fixing it needs calm reflection – not a knee-jerk reaction.
Divided parties, it is often said, lose elections. So Sir Keir Starmer is desperately trying convince voters that within Labour all is sweetness and light. But is it?
The party is in chaos over plans to expand London’s clean air zone. Sadiq Khan says yes. Rachel Reeves says no. Labour’s leader is on the fence (quelle surprise!).
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer (pictured) speaking to the media during a visit to Shefford in the constituency of Mid Bedfordshire
And Labour is fiercely split on every other policy: Trans rights, the two-child benefit cap, the sacking of NatWest’s Dame Alison Rose, joining strikers on picket lines.
If this is what a big, happy family looks like, we’d hate to see them fighting.
Normally, Hell would freeze over before this paper agrees with Tony Blair. But the ex-prime minister is right to warn politicians not to risk impoverishing and handicapping the country with a mad dash to net zero. Pointing out that the emissions China belches out dwarf our CO2 output, he said: ‘Frankly, whatever we do in Britain is not really going to impact climate change.’ Will wonders never cease. For once, Mr Blair is not spouting hot air!
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