Plans to expand Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre have been withdrawn by the Government following fierce opposition.
Local MP Nicola Blackwood called the decision “a victory for local people”.
The Government had been planning to double the size of the centre, making it one of the largest of its kind in Europe. Local groups and charities, including the Detention Forum and Refugee Council strongly opposed the plans.
Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said in a letter that alongside the Government’s own review into the detention of vulnerable people, Ministers were also examining the wider requirements of the immigration detention estate, including “capacity, purpose and location”.
The Government has come under heavy fire in recent weeks over its use of immigration detention following a scathing report by Parliamentarians and a series of undercover investigations aired by Channel 4 News.
Refugee Council Chief Executive Maurice Wren said: “Today the Home Secretary has finally got the message: there is no appetite among the British people to see vulnerable asylum seekers deprived of their liberty for political expedience.
“Ministers must now accept that the cat is well and truly out of the bag: immigration detention is inhumane, expensive and inefficient. If the Government wants to prove it’s serious about justice and protecting vulnerable people then it’s high time they consigned the whole system to the history books where it belongs.”