On 18 April 2023, a debate took place in the House of Lords on the Short-term Holding Facility (Amendment) Rules 2022.
The Rules create a new category of STHF known as a “Residential Holding Room” (RHR), designed specifically for the notorious site at Manston. Worryingly, the Rules allow safeguards and standards at sites designated as RHRs to be dramatically downgraded, whilst also at least quadrupling the length of time – from 24 to 96 hours, and even longer in “exceptional circumstances” – that the Home Office can hold people there.
The debate came as a result of earlier work in Parliament by Medical Justice and others to highlight concerns. You can watch it in full here (from 19:24:40 – 20:16:38) or read the transcript here.
The debate was led by Labour peer and APPG on Immigration Detention member, Baroness Lister of Burtersett. Other peers speaking included the Lord Bishop of Leeds, Baroness Hamwee (Liberal Democrat), and Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (Green Party). The Home Office minister Lord Murray of Blidworth responded for the government.
Medical Justice and Freedom From Torture produced a JOINT BRIEFING for the debate, which was shared with peers in advance.