Joint Public Letter to the Incoming Prime Minister

Today, 300 organisations and over 500 individuals have written to the incoming Prime Minister urging him to fix our broken asylum system and to protect, rather than punish, people seeking safety.

Dear Prime Minister,

Congratulations on your election results on 4th July and on forming the new Government. We look forward to working with you.

We are writing to you as grassroots organisations and individuals grounded firmly in our communities across the UK. We are proud to welcome people seeking safety. For years, we have stepped in to support people who have been targeted and brutalised by hostile policies. We are now calling on your Government to take a new approach: protecting people seeking safety, rather than punishing them for political gain. 

The asylum system in the UK is fundamentally broken. Currently, people seeking asylum here, who have been forced from their homes due to war or persecution and made to endure perilous journeys to find safety, are barely surviving in poverty. Successive pieces of unworkable, cruel legislation have effectively extinguished the right to seek asylum in the UK, creating an ever-growing ‘perma-backlog’ of tens of thousands of people. Some are being retraumatised in open-prison camps on barracks or barges. Others are left in overcrowded hostels with their mental health deteriorating whilst they are banned from finding employment. And Channel fatalities are at unthinkable levels, with a 450% increase in deaths at our border in the past twelve months.

It doesn’t have to be this way. 

We are recommending some clear and tangible steps that you can take as a new Government to fix our broken asylum system, so that people forcibly displaced from their homes can rebuild their lives in safety and dignity, find care and belonging in our communities, and participate in our economy and society. 

We are calling on you to urgently:

  • Restore the right to seek asylum in the UK in line with international law, by repealing the Illegal Migration Act and the Nationality and Borders Act;
  • Open safe routes for people seeking asylum to reach the UK so that people are not forced to risk their lives in the Channel, including providing visa routes, enabling families to reunite safely, and rebuilding refugee resettlement;
  • Abandon offshore processing, including the Rwanda scheme, and ensure that people are able to have their cases processed in the UK in a fair and timely way;
  • Resolve the legal aid crisis and ensure that everyone has access to good quality legal advice;
  • House people seeking asylum in communities, not camps, and close down all institutional accommodation including barracks, barges, hotels and hostels which cause unnecessary lasting harm at an eye-watering cost to the taxpayer whilst community-based accommodation is available;
  • Restore the right to work for people seeking asylum within six months of arrival so people can rebuild their lives in dignity and contribute £1.2 billion to the UK economy;
  • Increase asylum support rates so people seeking safety are not locked into poverty and forced to choose between essentials like food and toiletries;
  • End the use of immigration detention which restricts people’s freedom and liberty and causes immense harm to people’s physical and mental health;
  • End the use of harmful rhetoric aimed at people seeking asylum, which contributes to a hostile environment which includes violence by far-right groups, and instead lead by example by promoting messages of compassion and welcome towards people seeking safety.

We believe that you can begin the vital work of building a compassionate refugee protection system in your first 100 days as a new Government. We hope we can work together to fix our broken asylum system, uphold human rights and ensure people seeking safety are treated with respect and dignity.



Abigail Housing, Neal Heard, Co-CEO/Leeds Project Manager, and Amanda Church-Mcfarlane, Co-CEO/Bradford Project Manager

Acacia Path Ltd, Avril Edgar, Company Director 

ACAP (Ashton Churches Asylum Project), Chris Wooff, Joint Head

Action for Refugees in Lewisham (AFRIL), Sophie Wickham, Executive Director

Action Foundation, Duncan McAuley, CEO

Africa Advocacy Foundation, Agnes Baziwe, CEO

African Rainbow Family, Aderonke Apata, Founder & CEO

After Exploitation, Maya Esslemont, Director

Age Friendly Manchester

Agenda Alliance, Indy Cross, Chief Executive

Amnesty Mid-Gloucester Branch, Chairperson

Angels of Freedom Leeds, Rob Wilson, Coordinator

Apna Haq, Zlakha Ahmed, Chief Executive 

Asha North Staffordshire, Support Worker

ASSIST Sheffield, Anna Rudd, Director

Association of Visitors to Immigration Detainees (AVID), Gee Manoharan (Co-Director)

Asylum Aid, Alison Pickup, Executive Director 

Asylum Link Merseyside, Ewan Roberts, Centre Manager

Asylum Matters, Lou Calvey, Executive Director

Asylum Support Appeals Project, Kat Lorenz, Director

Asylum Welcome, Mark Goldring, Director

Baobab Women’s Project CIC, Sarah Taal, Director and Policy Advocate

BARAC UK, Zita Holbourne, Co-founder and National Chair

Barnsley Borough City of Sanctuary, Secretary

BEACON (Bradford Ecumenical Asylum Concern), Sarah Jemison, Chair of Trustees 

Bearwood Action For Refugees, Madeline Norris, Secretary 

Birmingham City of Sanctuary, Shari Brown, Chair

Birmingham Schools of Sanctuary, Barbara Forbes, Local Lead

Boaz Trust, Ros Holland, Chief Executive

Borderlands, Caitlin Plunkett, Interim CEO

Bournville Amnesty, Astrid Laich, Secretary

Bradford and Shipley Trades Council, Christopher Butler on behalf of the EC

Bradford City of Sanctuary, Will Sutcliffe, Chair 

Bradford Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Survivors Service, Katalina Balcomb, Refugee, Asylum Seeking and Trafficked Women’s Caseworker & Young Women and Girl’s Advocate 

Bradford Refugee Forum, Carl White, Chair

Breadwinners, Martin Cosarinsky Campos, Managing Director

Brighton Exiled/Refugee Trauma Service, Sally R Munt, Clinical Director and Emeritus Professor 

Brighton Migrant English Project, Maude Casey, Committee Member

Bristol City of Sanctuary, Susana Askew, Manager

Bristol Defend the Asylum Seekers Campaign, Jo Benefield, Campaign Coordinator

Bristol Refugee Rights, Danielle Johnson, CEO

Bromsgrove & District Asylum Seeker Support (B&DASS), Johannah Dyer, Chair

Bromsgrove and Redditch Welcome Refugees, Chair

Bromsgrove Justice and Peace Group, Secretary

CARAS, Eleanor Borwn, CEO

Care4Calais, Steven Smith, CEO

Care4Calais Liverpool, Simon Petty, Area Lead 

Caritas Shrewsbury, Ben Gilchrist, Chief Executive

Catalyst, Riada, Migration Project Coordinator

Circus Eruption, Karen Chalk, Director

Citizens Advice Newcastle, Hannah Cooper, Research and Campaigns Manager

Citizens Advice North Lancashire, Joanna Young, CEO

Citizens Advice Staffordshire North and Stoke-on-Trent, Rachel Lancaster, Children’s Cohesion Worker

City of Sanctuary Sheffield, Melinda Mo-Martinez, Advocacy and System Change Coordinator

City of Sanctuary UK, Hannah Green, Campaigns Manager

CLEAR Project, Pete White, Project Manager

Columbans in Britain, Inter Religious Dialogue Coordinator

Community Policy Forum, Isobel Ingham-Barrow, CEO

Connected Routes CIC, Leyla McLennan, Founding Director

Conversation Over Borders, Colette Batten-Turner, CEO

Counterpoints Arts, Almir Koldzic, Director & Co-founder

Coventry Against Racism, Secretary 

Coventry Refugee & Migrant Centre, Jackie Capitani, Supported Housing Manager

Craftspace, Emma Daker, Exhibitions & Project Development Manager

Craven District of Sanctuary, Chris Rose, Chair

D.A.R.A, Hilary Preidel, Member

Da’aro Youth Project, Yorsalem Feseha, Caseworker

DAR Darlington Assistance for Refugees, Fran Wood, CEO

DARA Deal Area Refugee Aid, Patricia Grist, Chair

DEED, Louise Boston-Mammah, Programme Coordinator 

Denbighshire County of Sanctuary, Trustee

Derby Refugee Advice Centre, Wendy Cook, Volunteer

Derby Refugee Forum, Ruth Long

Derbyshire Refugee Solidarity, Julie James, Secretary and Volunteer Coordinator 

Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support, Alex Vessis, CEO

Diss, Town of Sanctuary, Hervé Cachelin, Steering Committee Member

Doctors of the World UK, Simon Tyler, Executive Director

Doncaster Conversation Club, Chair of Trustees

Down to Earth Project, Kate Denner, Research Lead

East Hoathly Village of Sanctuary, Tom Serpell, Chair

East Meets West, Lindsey Graydon, Committee Member

Emerge Worldwide, Head of Operations

End Deportations Belfast, Organisers 

End Violence Against Women Coalition, Andrea Simon, Executive Director

English for Action, Adela Belecova, Executive Team Member

ENTRAIDE, Felix Kupay, CEO

Evesham Vale Welcomes Refugees, Ros Gowers, Coordinator 

EYST Wales, Lloyd Williams, Co-Director/Head of People & Governance 

Father Hudson’s Society, Dave Newall, Migration Lead

Friends of the Drop-In (FODI) Sunderland, Fanni Ngambi, FODI Manager

Forced Migration and The Arts, Ambrose Musiyiwa, Coordinator 

forRefugees, Amber Bauer, CEO

Forth Valley Welcome, Elizabeth Fairgrieve, Volunteer Coordinator

FORWARD, Naana Otoo-Oyortey

Free2-Bme LGBTQ+ Community Organisation, CEO

Freedom from Torture, Jack Williamson, Media and Communications Assistant

Friends without Borders (Portsmouth), Clare Mach, Caseworker

GARAS, Adele Owen, Director

Gateshead City of Sanctuary, Fatima Subhani 

Gaza Families Reunited Campaign, Sabrina, Volunteer 

GLADAN, Marion Bryans, Participant Member

Global Link, Gisela Renolds, Executive Director

Govan Community Project, Traci Kirkland, Head of Charity 

Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit, Denise McDowell,CEO

Greater Manchester Law Centre, Jason Tetley, Director 

Growing Together Levenshulme, Jaqui Cotton, Chair

Haringey Welcome, Lucy Nabijou, Coordinator

Harmony Choir Leeds, Andy Brown, Committee Member

Hastings Community of Sanctuary, Polly Gifford, Co-Chair

Hastings Supports Refugees, Jane Grimshaw, Convener 

Hay, Brecon and Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees, Ailsa Dunn, Secretary

Helen Bamber Foundation, Kerry Smith, CEO

Her Centre, Stacy Smith, CEO 

Herefordshire City of Sanctuary, Chair of Management Committee

Herts for Refugees, Angus Clark, Chief Executive


Hope at Home, Helen Hodgson, Operations Director

Hope HousingChief Operations Officer

HOPE not hate, Anki Deo, Community Response Coordinator

Hope Projects, Phil Davis, Director

Housing Justice, Joe Rinvolucri, Refugee Lodgings Project Coordinator

Humans for Rights Network, Maddie Harris, Director 

IMIX, Jenni Regan, CEO

Iraqi Association, Jabbar Hasan, Director

Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants, Andy Ruiz Palma, Chief Executive 

JCWI, Yasmin Halima, Executive Director

Jesuit Refugee Service UK, Sarah Teather, Director

Journey LGBT+ Asylum Group, Sheila Rushforth, Director

Just Futures Research Centre, University of Huddersfield, Dr Kate Smith, Senior Research Fellow

Justice First, Barbara Hungin, Chair of Trustees

JustRight Scotland, Sabrina Galella, Policy & Public Affairs Manager

Kairos Housing, Lisa Norcross, Project Manager

Kent Refugee Action Network (KRAN), Dr Razia Shariff, CEO

Knighton and District Refugee Support Group, L Stevens, Communications

La Fabulista, Director 

LASS Lesbian Asylum Support Sheffield, River Wolton, Volunteer

Latin American Women’s Rights Service (LAWRS), Carolina Caicedo, Policy and Communications Manager on Labour Exploitation

Law Centre NI, Liz Griffith, Head of Policy & Research, Migration Justice Project

Law Centres Network, Nimrod Ben-Cnaan, Head of Policy and Profile

Learn English Together, Volunteer 

Learn for Life Enterprise, Hayley Nelson BEM, Director

Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network, Jon Beech, Director

Leicester City of Sanctuary, Pete Hobson, Chair

Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network (LRMN), Alan Robertson, CEO

LGBT Health and Wellbeing, Mark Kelvin, CEO

Lifeline Options CIC, Project Manager

Louth Churches for Refugees, Trustee

Macc, Mike Wild, CEO

MaCO, Angel Kaleta, Chairperson 

MakeAmplify Ltd, Jennifer Irons, Director

Manchester City of Sanctuary, Sarah McCarthy, Volunteer Placement Co-Ordinator

Manchester Migrant Solidarity, Aderonke Apata, Founder and Chairperson 

Manchester Refugee Support Network, Alex Francis-Palmer

MAP Middlesbrough, Project Manager

South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group SYMAAG, Manuchehr Maleki

Mapperly Parish Council, Chairman 

Mary Thompson Fund, Pete Widlinski, Chair of Trustees 

Maryhill Integration Network, Pinar Aksu, Human Rights and Advocacy Coordinator

Maternity Action, Judith Dennis, Head of Policy

Merseyside Pensioners Association, Angela McEvoy, Member

Metropolitan Community Church of North London, Senior Pastor

Micro Rainbow, Sebastian Rocca, Founder and CEO

Middlesbrough Diocese Justice and Peace Commission, Barbara Hungin, Chair

Middlesbrough Voluntary Development Agency, John Atkinson, Community Development Worker

Migrant & Destitution Fund, Lutfor Rahman, Panel Chair

Migrant Voice Friends, Membre Edwige Assako Okomono 

Migrateful, Jess Thompson, Founder & Co-CEO

Museum of Homelessness, Matthew Turtle, Director 

Music Action International, Kayleigh Swanson, Development Manager

NACCOM, Bridget Young, Director

New Europeans UK, Dr Ruvi Ziegler, Chair

NIARA, Annetha Mills, Founder & CEO

No To Hassockfield, Helen Groom, Chairperson

North East Law Centre, Clare Hurst, Deputy Centre Director

North of England Refugee Service, Dr Mohamed Nasreldin, Director

Northumberland County of Sanctuary

Norwich City of Sanctuary, Claire Wood, Coordinator

Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum (NNRF), Debbie Royle

Nottingham Stand Up To Racism, Secretary 

Oasis, Susie Ventris-Field, CEO

Oasis Church Inner Birmingham, Rob Hooper Pastor

One Life To Live, Nicola David, Founder

One Roof Leicester, Salma Ravat, CEO

Open Door North East, Anna Lewis (CEO)

Otley Road & Community Works, Jane Lees, CEO

Our Second Home, Amos Schonfield, CEO

Out in Cov, Jon Homer, Co-ordinator

Peace of Mind CIO, Sara Muzaffar, Trustee

Pendle New Neighbours, Paul Gauntlett, Trustee & Treasurer

PERN, Sarah Wilson, Director

Positive Action For Refugees and Asylum Seekers (PAFRAS), Karen Pearse, Director

Positive Action in Housing, Robina Qureshi, CEO

Praxis, Josephine Whitaker-Yilmaz, Policy and Public Affairs Manager

Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network, Fred Ashmore, Steering Group Member

Race Equality Network, Fatima and Projects and Communications Officer

Rainbow Migration, Carla Manso, Communications Manager

Rainbow Refugees NI, Niamh Rowan, Chair

RAMA (Refugee, Asylum seeker and Migrant Action), Elizabeth Long, Partnerships Coordinator

Reach Project, New North Road Baptist Church, Huddersfield, Ernie Whalley, Chair

RefuAid, Chief Operating Officer

Refugee Action, Tim Naor Hilton, Chief Executive

Refugee Council, Enver Solomon, Chief Executive

Refugee Futures, Heather Petch, CEO

Refugee Legal Support, Isaac Shaffer, Legal Director

Refugee Support Devon, Kiven Emmanuel (OISC Level 1 Immigration Adviser/Senior Drop-in Coordinator)

Refugee Support Group (Berkshire), Nick Harborne CEO

Refugee Welcome Homes, Rachael Bee, Director,

Refugee Women Connect/Sistersnotstrangers, Bosede Adufe Oluwole (BEA) Well Being 

Refugee Youth Service, Jonny Willis, CEO

Refugee, Asylum Seeker and Migrant Action, Maria Wilby, Operational Lead

Refugees at Home, Lauren Scott, CEO

Rene Cassin, Lucja Jastrzebska, Communications Manager

Restore, a project of Birmingham Churches Together, Jeremy Thompson, Manager

RETAS Leeds, Roger Nyantou, Chief Executive

REUK, Hamid Khan, Education Welcome Project Officer

Revive CIO, Joseph Kiwango

Revoke CIC

Right to Remain, Eiri Ohtani, Director

Room to Heal, Dilara Harvey-Smith, Director

Routes, Tamana, Programme Manager

Runnymede Trust, Shabna Begum, CEO

Safe Passage International, Dr Wanda Wyporska, CEO 

Saltburn and East Cleveland Befrienders, Judy Hewison, Secretary

Samphire, Charlotte Zosseder, Director

Sanctuary, Nora Ferguson

Santé Refugee Mental Health Access Project, Ruth Appleton, Director

SASS, Najet Najah, Volunteering to Teach English

SCARF (Stafford Campaign Against Racism and Fascism), Convenor

Schools of Sanctuary, Tessa McNab

Scottish Detainee Visitors, Kate Alexander, Director

Sikh Sanjog, Trishna Singh OBE, Founder/Director 

Six Ways Baptist Church

Skipton Refugee Support Group, Charles Dobson, Chair

Social Action Group of Newcastle Reform Synagogue, Coordinator

Solace Surviving Exile and Persecution, Kathryn Ashworth, CEO

South Greenwich Forum, Judy Smith, Hon. Secretary

Southampton Action, Nikki Walters, Chair

Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group (SWVG), Mark Courtice, Chair of Trustees 

Southeast and East Asian Centre (CIC), Executive Director

St Chad’s Sanctuary, Abigail Martin, CEO

St Thomas Church Asylum Seeker and Refugee Support System, Maja Moller, Coordinator

St. Augustine’s Centre, Becky Hellewell, Head of Support and Immigration

Stafford Welcomes Refugees, Faye Wyatt, Secretary

Stand and Be Counted Theatre, Rosie MacPherson, Artistic Director and Joint CEO

Stand up to Racism Portsmouth, Kimberley Knight, Volunteer

Stockton St Peter’s ESOL Group, Asylum Seeker Coordinator 

Stories of Hope and Home, Stephanie Neville, Project Manager

Student Action for Refugees, Emily Crowley, Chief Executive

Student Action for Refugees, Birmingham, Kate O’Neill, President

Sunderland City of Sanctuary, Revd Chris Howson, Chair

Swansea Asylum Seekers Support (SASS), Sandra Morton, Volunteer and Chair of Trustees

Swansea City of Sanctuary, Hazel, Admin & Comms Officer

Swansea Women’s Asylum and Refugee Support Group, Jeni Williams, Chair 

Tai Pawb, Alicja Zalesinska, Chief Executive

Tees Valley of Sanctuary, Sattinder Collins, Chair

The Art House, Sydney Thornbury, CEO

The Bike Project, Lizzie Kenyon, Chief Executive

The Birth Partner Project, Areatha Comanescu, Volunteer Coordinator

The Brigstowe Project, Patrick Graham, Migrant and Asylum Support Service

The Brunswick Centre, John McKernaghan, Chief Officer 

The Clare Project, Red Fletcher, Public Involvement Officer and Aging Well Lead

The Dandelion Community, Revd Kate Gray, Church Minister 

The Eagles Wing Mutual Support Group Bury, Sue Arnall, Volunteer and Treasurer

The Harmony with Nature Charitable Trust, Trustee

The Magpie Project, Sorcha Maynard, Family Support Worker

The Pankhurst Trust (inc Manchester Women’s Aid), Gail Heath, CEO

The Pickwell Foundation, Nicola Jenner, Communications and Events Lead

The VOICES Network, Coordinator

The William Gomes Podcast, William Gomes, Director 

The CAE, Gustavo Moreno, Employment Support Officer

Together Now, Victor Iringere, Director

Trinity Centre, Fflur Angharad, Co-Ordinator

Tulia Group, Tendai, Volunteer

Tynemouth Together with Refugees, Penny Henry, Spokesperson

Ubuntu Women Shelter, Dania Thomas, Director

UK Must Act, Sarah El Hadj, UK Focal Point

Unite NW522, Margaret McAdam, Branch Member

United Reformed Church, West Midlands, The Revd Steve Faber, Synod Moderator

Voices in Exile, Mel Steel, Director

VOICES Network, Akeila Bermudez, Judith Nkwopara, and Niloha Rangel, Volunteers

Volunteering Bradford, Inclusive Volunteering Service, Steve Blackman, CEO

Waging Peace, Maddy Crowther, Co-Executive Director

Walking With in North Tyneside, Joan Hoult, CEO

We Are Survivors, Rebecca Didi, Trauma-Informed Therapist

Wearside Amnesty International, Bob Miller, Secretary

Welcome Churches, Emily Shepherd, CEO

Welcome Group Halesowen, Andrew Harwood, Project Manager

Welsh Centre for International Affairs, Hayley Richards, Head of Programme Development & Policy

Welsh Refugee Council, Andrea Cleaver, CEO

Welsh Women’s Aid, Sara Kirkpatrick, Chief Executive

West End Refugee Service (WERS), Andy Durma, Interim Chief Executive

West London Welcome, Leyla Williams, Deputy Director

West Wales Domestic Abuse Service

West Yorkshire Destitute Asylum Network (WYDAN), Ted Britton, Chair of Trustees

WILPF UK, Fiona McOwan, Secretary

Wolverhampton City of Sanctuary, Amanda Bevan, Volunteer Co-ordinator 

Women Asylum Seeker Manchester, Imade R Alueboh, Management Member

Women for Refugee Women, Andrea Vukovic, Deputy Director

Women’s Support Project (Rights & Choices), Claire Cooke, Project Coordinator

Worcester LGBT (Asylum, Support, Networks), Mazedul Hasan Shakil, Leader

Young Roots, Lisa Matthews, Policy and Campaigns Manager

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