‘We must get to bottom 
of these worrying claims’

Yarl's Wood detention centre
Yarl's Wood detention centre

An MP is demanding the Home Office digs deeper into allegations of serious sexual abuse at Yarl’s Wood.

North East Bedford MP Alistair Burt says a Select Committee inquiry should be held after Serco, which runs the detention centre, was forced to disclose a report revealing it failed to properly investigate a resident’s claim of sexual assault by a guard.

The report was made public after a four-month legal battle between Serco and the the Guardian newspaper.

The newspaper claims there is a “culture of disbelief” towards the women held at the centre.

Mr Burt said: “The latest allegations concerning Yarl’s Wood, that Serco sought to withhold information about its inquiry into alleged sexual assault, are serious and deserve further investigation.

“The Home Office and Yarl’s Wood authorities should agree to a Select Committee inquiry, and access by serious representative bodies.

“In the main, Yarl’s Wood suffers because it has the most difficult task of the immigration system to perform – removing women who the law has judged have no right to remain in the UK.

“But any individual allegation of abuse of power in relation to vulnerable women must have an inquiry process above reproach, which does not appear to be the case here.”

The controversial detention centre is sited near Clapham, in Mr Burt’s constituency.