Last week, Stephen tabled an Early Day Motion calling on the government to allow over 35,000 students the chance of re-taking the Test of English International Communication. Many of the students had their visas curtailed having been accused by the Home Office of cheating when sitting the original test.
The EDM comes ahead of the planned launch of an All Party Parliamentary Group to look into the actions taken by the government and how they have affected the lives of the students. The APPG will aim to take testimony from students as well as from legal professionals and mental health practitioners, and will produce a report that will include recommendations for changes in Government policy.
The decision taken in 2014 by the then Home Secretary Theresa May to revoke or deny the visas of 35,870 students has been seen by many across the legal and political professions to be an overreaction. In 2016, the Home Affairs Select Committee was highly critical of the actions taken by May’s department in the TOEIC case, saying that the scandal “raises serious questions about the conduct of the Home Office”.
Having tabled the EDM, Stephen said: “I hope this motion can help persuade the Government to re-think its handling of this issue. The treatment of these students has been appalling.
“Supporters of our campaign should ask their local MP to sign EDM 2061. The more MPs who sign, the stronger our case for students affected to sit another test in the UK, and to be permitted to complete their studies.”
Migrant Voice’s Executive Director Nazek Ramadan, added: “This is the next step in the campaign to get justice for the students. I encourage all MP’s to sign this EDM. I hope the Home Secretary and the Prime Minister take note of the awful situation they have put the students in and take action immediately.”