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'Go Home' vans a failure, admits Home Office
Tories have admitted controversial vans targeting illegal immigrants during a pilot scheme in Redbridge were a failure.
The ‘Go Home’ vans passed through the borough in July bearing the message, “In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest,” and were later banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
The Home Office trialled the vans across areas in London with the hope they would be extended nationwide.
But Theresa May confirmed they would not be after they were found to be “too much of a blunt instrument.”
Rita Chadha, Chief Executive of Refugee and Migrant Forum East London (RAMFEL), said they are delighted, but concerned it may have been a tactical move before today’s second reading of the immigration bill.
She said: “We are absolutely delighted that the government has seen the error of its ways over the catastrophic campaign.
“The vans were unworkable and more costly than immigration.
“What still concerns us is they are still trying to make out as if immigration is a problem in east London.
“It is also no accident that this admission has been released today in a way to coincide with the second reading of the immigration bill as a tactical distraction.”
The bill is currently still undergoing its second reading, with ministers debating driving license checks, “sham” marriages and cutting the amount of deportations that can be appealed against.
The Guardian is awaiting comment from the council.
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