Rishi Sunak slammed over ‘barefaced lie’ after claiming asylum backlog has been cleared

Downing Street has been forced to admit that 4,500 “complex cases” remain outstanding.

Rishi Sunak

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is being condemned for his ‘barefaced lie’ after claiming, incorrectly, that the government had met its pledge to clear the backlog of so-called legacy asylum claims.

The prime minister posted on X (formerly Twitter) that the Home Office had dealt with 112,000 “legacy cases” – relating to claims made before June 2022 – by the end of last year.

However, thousands of asylum cases are still awaiting a final decision, with Downing Street forced to admit that 4,500 “complex cases” remain outstanding. That means that the government has not cleared the “legacy” backlog of pre-June 2022 asylum claims.

Furthermore, the Home Office has revealed that there are more than 98,000 asylum applications still awaiting a decision, largely consisting of claims made since June 2022. 17,000 claims have also been withdrawn by the Home Office, with Yvette Cooper saying that the government has ‘no idea where those people are’.

To add to the humiliation for the PM, his post on X was community noted with the message “the backlog has not been cleared” and a link to a BBC report confirming the target has not been met.

Shadow Minister for Immigration, Stephen Kinnock posted on X: “The PM’s barefaced lie that he has cleared the asylum backlog would be laughable if it wasn’t such an insult to the public’s intelligence.

“Statistics published this morning by his own Govt show there are still around 100,000 cases languishing in the Tories’ never-ending backlog.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

(Picture credit: Simon Walke / Number 10 Downing Street – Creative Commons)

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