I thank my right hon. Friend the Member for East Ham (Stephen Timms) for securing this urgent question. I must also say that I look forward to working constructively with the Minister, but I can assure him that we will robustly hold him to account as well.
We know there is a moral vacuum at the heart of this Conservative Government. We know that No. 10 is a shambles and that the Home Office under this Home Secretary is not fit for purpose. This case brings all those fundamental flaws into a toxic combination of indifference and incompetence. The harrowing accounts that have emerged include a man who was held in a cell for months on end, wrongly accused of failing his test, without any right to release or even to appeal. Students who could have contributed so much to our country have been wrongly deported based on unreliable evidence and as a result have suffered deep and intolerable injustice and personal hardship. As one student put it:
“I want my future back.”
It goes without saying that the Labour party supports the use of English language tests, and of course we support efforts to target cheating, but we must utterly condemn the blind eye that the Home Office turned to ETS’s failings. Can the Minister therefore tell us why on earth the Home Office thought it appropriate to allow a discredited ETS to manage the initial investigation in 2014, and to rely on its deeply questionable data? Do the Government intend to continue to rely on ETS’s claims? If so, how can the Home Office be sure the data is reliable? What action do the Government plan to take to right those wrongs? Will they continue to force migrants through the demeaning process of lengthy legal battles rather than resolving the matter internally? Will the Minister commit now, from the Dispatch Box, to a mechanism that will allow innocent students to clear their names?
This is, of course, just one of a litany of Home Office failures under this Conservative Government since 2010, from the Windrush scandal to data leaks and the ongoing small boats crisis. The Home Secretary must now take full responsibility for this shocking miscarriage of justice.