About 200 asylum-seeking children have gone missing, says minister
About 200 children, mostly Albanian teenage boys, remain missing from hotels housing asylum seekers, the immigration minister has said.
Robert Jenrick told MPs that of 4,600 child asylum seekers who had arrived in the UK since 2021, 440 had gone missing and only half had returned.
He said it was "extremely concerning" but added he had not seen evidence the children were being abducted.
Labour's Yvette Cooper accused ministers of a "dereliction of duty".
The shadow home secretary said there was "a criminal network involved" in taking the children away from their accommodation and that the government was "completely failing to stop them".
"They are letting these gangs run amuck."
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She urged the government to crack down on the gangs and end its contracts with hotels from where children had gone missing.
She also expressed concern about the lack of clarity over whether the Home Office or local councils were legally responsible for the children.
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