MPs demand police probe into the Mail's rogue solicitors investigation

Calls for the police to investigate the Mail’s shocking expose on rogue solicitors and legal advisors allegedly telling migrants how to con their way to asylum as ministers and opposition MPs hit out at the ‘disgraceful’ revelations

  • The Home Secretary said the probe was ‘hugely important’ in the Mail today
  • READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE Lawyers charging £10,000 to make fake asylum claims 

Police should probe the Mail’s expose of lawyers making false asylum claims, ministers and leading opposition MPs said last night.

Rishi Sunak led criticism of rogue solicitors and legal advisers after our undercover investigation.

The Prime Minister retweeted a link to the Mail’s investigation, saying: ‘This is what we’re up against. 

‘The Labour Party, a subset of lawyers, criminal gangs – they’re all on the same side, propping up a system of exploitation that profits from getting people to the UK illegally.’

Writing in the Mail today, Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the probe was ‘hugely important’ and warned some of the practices were ‘potentially criminal’.

Image from undercover footage shows Vinnasythamby Lingajothy offering anti-depressant medication to an undercover reporter which he said the journalist could show the Home Office as evidence of his ‘psychological trauma.’

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick tweeted: ‘These individuals have no place in the legal profession. 

Swift action must be taken to remove from the roll all those who so egregiously abuse our laws.’

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: It’s time to stop this legal merry-go-round around immigration 

Questions surround what law could be used to prosecute solicitors and legal advisers who concoct fake stories for asylum seekers or who submit knowingly false claims. 

Immigrants who submit false asylum claims can face two years in jail, but there is no specific law covering the solicitors who cash in by helping them.

Labour’s shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry said: ‘What has been recorded in these conversations is absolutely disgraceful, and it is appalling to think that the same advice may also have been given in numerous real-life cases that we do not know about. 

‘It is vital that we have a credible asylum process in our country, and it is disgusting to see any legal professional actively working to undermine it.

‘If there is evidence that they have facilitated fraudulent asylum claims in real-life cases, and made financial gains from doing so, then that should rightly be a matter for immediate investigation by the police.’

Alistair Carmichael, Lib Dem home affairs spokesman, added: ‘These reports are extremely concerning and need to be looked into. 

‘The Government’s approach is failing to tackle the trafficking gangs and all those who profit from this trade in human misery.’

Gareth Johnson, a Tory MP who also works as a solicitor, said: ‘This sort of despicable behaviour brings the whole profession into disrepute. 

‘If this goes unchecked if this goes it brings the whole profession down, so we need sanctions taken against these people.’

Legal authorities suggested those exposed by the Mail’s investigation could fall foul of section 25 of the 1971 Immigration Act, which prohibits facilitating illegal migration. 

‘But this is thought to apply only to those who help the act of unlawful entry, not helping the illegal immigrants after they have arrived.

Alternatively, if they were knowingly helping people smuggler or crime gangs from the UK they could be in breach of this law. 

‘There is no suggestion the lawyers featured in the Mail’s investigation were doing do.

There has been at least one conviction of a British-based lawyer under such law.

On social media, senior lawyers discussing our story debated alternative grounds for a prosecution. 

‘Dinah Rose, a barrister and president of Magdalen College, Oxford, suggested that if lawyers encouraged clients to lie it could constitute ‘conspiracy to pervert the course of justice’ – a view supported by fellow barrister Adam Wagner.

Among the rogue legal advisers we exposed was VP Lingajothy, who asked for £10,000 to invent a horrific back story to use in the asylum application, including claims of sexual torture, slave labour and imprisonment.

After the Mail approached the south London firm he was representing, he was promptly sacked.

Source: Read Full Article

click fraud detection