Priti Patel’s Home Office department has admitted that it ‘accidentally’ published the number of a washing machine repair company in Coventry on its ad for an emergency helpline for ‘vulnerable non-British nationals in Afghanistan’.
Desperate callers were left on hold for hours or were completely unable to get through – either to the published number or to the Home Office’s main number. The Home Office told callers not to chase for information, claiming that this was the cause of the delay.
Once the proper line was opened and despite assurances that the emergency number would be active 24/7 after an initial 9.30am-11pm start, many people complained that the lines were still closing at 11, cutting off many who had been waiting for hours.
The Home Office claims it has now put more staff onto the valid line, with waiting times ‘as little as 15 mins’ – which means a minimum of 15 minute and who knows up to how long.
Last week, Priti Patel – who has previously floated plans to sink asylum seekers’ boats in the Channel, either by warship or a floating ‘marine fence’ – told the BBC that she didn’t believe Taliban assurances on women’s rights. It appears her concern for the vulnerable was not great enough to avoid misdirecting thousands of despairing, frightened people to get their household appliances repaired.
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