The Curmudgeon


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Home Office Responds on Iraqi Collaborators

From the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office, Meg Hillier MP, to Dr Rudi Vis, my MP:

Thank you for your letter to the Home Secretary of 26 July on behalf of Mr Philip Challinor of [blue pencil]. I have been asked to reply.

Mr Challinor asks us to grant asylum in the United Kingdom to locally engaged staff who have helped the British Forces in Iraq. We are extremely grateful for the service of locally employed staff in Iraq and take their security very seriously. We recognise that there are concerns about the safety of locally employed staff. We keep all such issues under review and we will now look again at the assistance we provide. The total number of Iraqis who have worked for us since 2003 with a claim to assistance could be at least 15,000. We therefore need to consider the options carefully in this genuinely complex area.

The Prime Minister has commissioned a trilateral Ministerial review to consider the options. The Home Office, Ministry of Defence and Foreign & Commonwealth Office are the members of the review group, which will present recommendations to Ministers in late September. At this stage it would not be appropriate to pre-empt the recommendations. I hope this reassures you that we are taking seriously the issues that have been raised surrounding locally employed staff working for the UK in Iraq.

(Signed) Tony McNulty, pp Meg Hillier.


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