OTLEY’S MP has welcomed news that a private security firm has lost its Yorkshire contracts.

Alex Sobel (Lab, Leeds North West) publicly criticised G4S last autumn after being shocked by the state of some of the local asylum seeker accommodation* it was providing.

This week it was announced that that the company has lost its bid to continue running such accommodation in Yorkshire and the Humber.

The Government has instead handed the lucrative, ten year contract to the Mears Group which will take over in the spring.

Mr Sobel said: “I am pleased that G4S have not been rewarded for bad practice with lucrative government contracts, though I would like to take this opportunity to repeat my calls for independent oversight over asylum accommodation outsourcing so the same mistakes are not made again.

“I hope that Mears will deliver a service that gives those fleeing war and persecution dignified, safe and clean accommodation as a minimum.”

The Government says that under the new contracts providers will be ‘required to have proactive maintenance plans, to make sure that they regularly inspect properties and report back to the Home Office on the findings of these inspections’.

*The MP raised the issue during a Parliamentary debate on Asylum Accommodation Contracts in October, 2017.

His speech described the ‘unsafe and unsanitary’ conditions he had found while visiting a mother and baby asylum facility in his constituency.