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Asylum seekers 'provide video evidence they are gay'

The Home Secretary has ordered a review of border officials' handling of asylum claims made by gay and lesbian applicants following reports claimants handed over video evidence to prove their sexuality.

Read: Asylum seekers pressured into 'proving' sexuality

The review comes after leaked Home Office documents revealed asylum seekers were subjected to a series of questions on their sexual behaviour. The questions requested details of intimate sexual positioning preferences and also included:

"What is it about men's backsides that attracts you?"

Theresa May has asked the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, John Vine, to review the claims made on grounds of sexual orientation. In a letter to Mr Vine, Mrs May said:

"We seek to establish this at interview through questions about sexual orientation, not sexual behaviour.

"It was disappointing therefore to discover that we may not have followed our guidance in at least one case, which was brought to the attention of the media recently."

Serco: Asylum seeker housing 'challenging'

Private security firm Secro has admitted they struggled to provide housing for asylum seekers, calling the fall-out from a major change in Government contracts "challenging".

James Thorburn, managing director of Serco's home affairs business explained:

The transition from the previous contracts was, as the NAO acknowledges, challenging, but Serco at all times concentrated on minimising the disruption to service users through extensive communication including the provision of information in 12 languages.

Over 90% of service users remained in the same accommodation, ensuring the continuity of key services for families and individuals.

We accept there remains scope for further improvement and we are committed to working with the Home Office and our partners in local government, the NHS and the voluntary sector to achieve that.

– James Thorburn, Serco
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