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MP Hails Decision to Axe £10bn Contract to ‘Vulture’ Security Firm

Alex Sobel has welcomed the news that a controversial global private security firm have lost their Yorkshire contracts.

In July, the MP from Leeds North West intervened after being horrified by the condition of G4S run asylum seeker accommodation in his constituency.

It has been announced today that G4S have now lost their accommodation contracts in Yorkshire and the Humber.

The security firm bid on the new 10-year contract worth £10 billion but were told today they lost out to rivals Mears Group, who will take over in Spring.

Alex recently spoke out in Parliament, slamming what he called a “neglectful regime” for the conditions endured by asylum seekers, said to include chronic damp and rat-infested houses.

Alex’s speech, which was featured on BBC Sunday Politics and quoted in a Home Affairs Select Committee Report, described the unsafe and unsanitary conditions faced by mothers and their babies in a Leeds North West house. He said:

“Outsourcing companies acting like vultures are failing our most vulnerable.”

“On visiting the house, the first thing that struck me was the stickiness underfoot and the smell of urine. That was the result of an earlier rat infestation, which was reported to G4S and ignored.

Although the local church stepped in and blocked the rats’ entrance to the bedroom, the carpet remained coated in rat urine.

A toddler crawling over the carpet had a skin infection. Her mother told me, ‘there is nowhere else for her to go’.

That was not strictly true. Her baby could have crawled in the hallway, where a missing baby gate left a steep set of stairs exposed—something of which G4S had been informed months before.

Or perhaps the child could crawl around the kitchen, where rat poison was left on the floor and mould covered every wall.”

On hearing the news that G4S are not to be awarded the contracts, Alex said:

“I am pleased that G4S have not been rewarded for bad practice with lucrative government contracts, though I would like to take this opportunity to repeat my calls for independent oversight over asylum accommodation outsourcing so that the same mistakes are not made again."

"I hope that Mears will deliver a service that gives those fleeing war and persecution dignified, safe and clean accommodation as a minimum. I have had some dealings with them in the past- not all of them positive- so I will be keeping a watching brief on this. I will continue to work with asylum seekers and relevant charities in the area. ”


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