The Liberal Democrats have vowed to move thousands of staff from the Home Office to strip it of responsibility for immigration and asylum if they win the election.
Labelling the department as “not fit for purpose” after scandals including Windrush, the party said it would move policymaking on visas, international students and asylum elsewhere on Whitehall.
The Departments for Business, Education and International Development would absorb the more than 9,000 former Home Office staff and policy areas, while a “non-political agency” would take over visa processing and asylum applications.
Christine Jardine, home affairs spokeswoman, said they would move work to departments that “aren’t infected by the Home Office’s toxic culture”.
She said: “Scandal after scandal has proved that the Home Office is not fit for purpose.
“Decades of hostile policies from Labour and Conservative home secretaries have created an immigration system that no-one trusts, and that fails to respect people’s dignity.
“Thousands of people are wrongly refused visas or asylum, causing huge amounts of misery and wasting taxpayers’ money.
“Now the Conservatives’ chaotic approach to Brexit risks a repeat of the Windrush scandal for EU citizens. That’s why Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit so we can build a brighter future, with a fair, effective immigration system that treats everyone with dignity and respect.
“We will hand policymaking over to departments that aren’t infected by the Home Office’s toxic culture, and that far better understand the needs of our economy, our universities, and seekers of sanctuary.
“And we’ll set up a new agency to decide cases fairly and get them right first time, free from interference by populist politicians.”