An Oxford MP has slammed plans to open a new immigration removal centre at the site of the former Campsfield House.

The Home Office has announced it is looking to open a new secure facility for 400 men in late 2023 at the old Campsfield immigration removal centre near Oxford.

The previous 282-bed centre was shut in 2018 after years of problems including complaints about the conditions people were held in.

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Oxford Mail: Police in protective gear arrive to tackle trouble at Campsfield House detention centre in Kidlington in 2008. Picture Oxford MailPolice in protective gear arrive to tackle trouble at Campsfield House detention centre in Kidlington in 2008. Picture Oxford Mail

Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, described it as “a disgraceful decision by the Home Office and I will fight it every step of the way”.

She tweeted that a new campaign to stop the site from reopening has been launched.

The campaign says: “Before its closure in 2018, there were concerns about the length of time people were being detained, and the high proportion of detainees taken into detention and then subsequently released.

“The community fought for many years to get the site closed and in 2015 successfully campaigned to stop further expansion.”

Oxford Mail: Bill MacKeith with Liz Peretz protesting outside Campsfield House. Pic Oxford MailBill MacKeith with Liz Peretz protesting outside Campsfield House. Pic Oxford Mail

Maria Brul, campaigns and advocacy co-ordinator at Detention Action, said: “Over 20 years, Campsfield immigration detention centre was the site of a teenage suicide, hunger strikes and the unjust detention of thousands of people seeking asylum.

“It was closed by (then home secretary Sajid) Javid in an attempt to avoid the extreme harm that indefinite detention causes. Its reopening is a sign that (Home Secretary) Priti Patel is long out of ideas, and so is once again opting to inflict trauma and misery on more black and brown people.”

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Oxford Mail: Campaigners gathered one last time to say that the battle to end immigration detention is not over yet. Picture: Liz PeretzCampaigners gathered one last time to say that the battle to end immigration detention is not over yet. Picture: Liz Peretz

The new site is set to house foreign criminals and immigration offenders in a combination of refurbished and new-build accommodation.

The Home Office said the centre will be a chance to provide local employment.

Tom Pursglove, minister for justice and tackling illegal migration, said: “Those who have abused the immigration system, including foreign national criminals who have devasted the lives of their victims, should be in no doubt of our determination to remove them. This is what the British public rightly expects.

“Opening a new immigration removal centre, as part of the New Plan for Immigration, will help ensure there is sufficient detention capacity to safely accommodate individuals ahead of removal.”

Oxford Mail: Police and firefighters were among those attending Campsfield House following a protest in 2007. Picture Oxford MailPolice and firefighters were among those attending Campsfield House following a protest in 2007. Picture Oxford Mail

The Home Office said the welfare people in immigration detention is of the upmost importance and would be taken into account as Campsfield is redeveloped.

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This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can get in touch with her by emailing: sophie.perry@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry

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