Home Office backs down over “go home” vans after legal complaints from RAMFEL clients

The van being used as part of the Home Office project

The van being used as part of the Home Office project - Credit: Archant

The Home Office has backed down over its controversial immigration vans following a legal complaint from clients of the Migrant and Refugee Forum of East London.

After being threatened with court action by two claimants, the Home Office agreed to consult local communities before embarking on similar ventures in future.

The vans, which had been driving around Redbridge among other boroughs, told illegal immigrants to “go home or face arrest.”

They have been widely criticised for inflaming racial tensions and are being investigated by the Advertising Standards Agency, which received more than 60 complaints about them.

A spokesperson for Deighton Pierce Glynn, solicitors for the claimants, said: “My clients are very pleased that the Home Office have agreed to consult local communities on matters like this in future, but remain disappointed that they didn’t do this in the first place. They have taken the Home Office’s stance in good faith and will not be taking any further action at this stage.”

Raymond Murray, one of the claimants in the case, told the Guardian he was “very pleased the Home Office has seen sense and will do things differently in future. Hopefully they’ll never try a stunt like this again.”

Keith Prince, leader of Redbridge Council, had previously spoken out against the vans, and said of this latest development: “This just shows that the Home Office should’ve consulted their local partners in the first place.”

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A meeting was held at RAMFEL on Monday night, explaining the impact of the vans’ message and advising those affected.

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