Straw Defends Gaza Evacuation
As Londonist writes, the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, is defending the decision to pull British prison monitors out of a prison in Gaza just days before Israeli forces stormed it, looking to seize a prisoner that the Palestinian authorities will not release. The question is whether this withdrawal amounts to an endorsement by the British Government of the Israeli actions. Jack Straw has said that this is not the case, but that he was purely protecting the monitors' safety. With the kidnappings of and attacks on foreign nationals that are now going on in Gaza and Jericho, whether he succeeded in protecting Brits is questionable.
MPs Call For Asylum Overhaul
The Commons public accounts committee has claimed that the Immigration and Nationality Directorate do not know how many failed asylum seekers are in the UK, and that Britain is not expelling nearly enough of them. It has endorsed a proposal to tag or detain failed asylum seekers to stop them just disappearing off the radar. There is a backlog of removals ranging from between 155,000 and 283,500. Home Secretary Charles Clarke unveiled an overhaul of the asylum process last week, and it will be interesting to see how it progresses through Parliament.