POLITICS
03/09/2015 13:31 BST | Updated 03/09/2015 13:59 BST

Refugees In Britain Are More Likely To End Up In Labour Areas Than Conservative Ones, Figures Reveal

Conservative-dominated areas of England take in fewer refugees than Labour-strong regions, the Huffington Post UK can reveal.

Home Office figures obtained by this website show the North West has taken the most asylum seekers in every quarter since the beginning of 2008, and in the first three months of this year took nearly a third off all those dispersed around England.

Of the 41 councils in the North West, Labour runs 26, while just six are governed by the Tories.

The South East of England – the most Conservative area of the country in terms of seats and votes – took in just 2% of asylum seekers in the first three months of the year.

Of the 73 county, unitary and district councils in the South East, 50 are Tory run, while just seven are Labour-run.

The East of England – another Tory stronghold where 31 of the 52 councils are Conservative run – housed just 2.2% of refugees in Britain over the same period.

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk told The Huffington Post UK: “The North West is carrying too much of the asylum seeker burden. Other regions, other towns and cities need to pull their weigh in terms of taking asylum seekers.

“The Government’s dispersal strategy is skewed towards the North West and places like Rochdale, where there are over 1,000 asylum seekers.

danczuk

Simon Danczuk said the burden on the North West was too great and others had to 'pull their weight'

“This is unsustainable, particularly with the cuts the Conservative Government have made to local agencies.”

The Government began operating a policy of dispersal in the early 2000s, after concerns were raised asylum seekers were being concentrated in London and the South East.

While North West cities and towns such as Liverpool and Rochdale are particularly popular areas, the South East and South West have taken in the lowest share of asylum seekers over the last ten years of any region.

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In 2013, the Government outsourced six contracts for dispersal asylum seeker accommodation worth £700million to G4S, Serco and Clearel.

In February this year the Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson attacked Serco for sending too many asylum seekers to the city, and warned of “community cohesion” problems.

Mr Anderson said: “There seems to be a sort of asylum apartheid operating where certain cities are the ones taking the unfair share.”

Liverpool City Council claimed the Home Office approved ration of one accommodated asylum seeker per 200 local residents was being exceeded in at least six wards in the city – in some cases by as much as 300 per cent.

In the first quarter of 2015, 24,948 asylum seekers were in dispersal accommodation around England. Here is the full breakdown:

North West – 7,450 (29.9%)

West Midlands – 4,406 (17.7%)

Yorkshire and The Humber – 3,571 (14.3%)

Greater London – 2,748 (11%)

North East – 2,717 (10.9%)

East Midlands – 2,232 (8.9%)

South West – 775 (3.1%)

East of England – 556 (2.2%)

South East – 493 (2%)

Rest of the UK

Wales – 2,626

Scotland – 492

Northern Ireland – 172

Research by The Huffington Post UK also shows refugees have more chance of being granted asylum in the UK than the majority of other EU countries, including Germany, France and Sweden.

The UK first instance rejection rate for asylum applications was 61% in 2014, marginally above the EU average of 55 per cent. Of the 25,870 applications, 10,050 were rejected.

However, the UK issued final rejection notices to 8,735 of 12,750 asylum seeker appeal reviews in the same year – a rate of 68.5%, well below the EU average of 82.4%.

Germany also had an initial rejection rate above the EU average (58%) and rejected 37,340 of 44,335 asylum seeker appeals - 84.2%. Croatia had a final rejection rate of 100%.

The only countries to have a lower final rejection rate than the UK were Cyprus, Ireland, Netherlands and Finland.