The Home Office has been censured for setting up a website that purports to provide independent advice to migrants considering travelling to the UK – but without making it clear that her department is behind it.
It has been reported that the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) condemned the Home Office for producing an “unethical” website aimed at deterring people from attempting to seek refuge in the UK.
This comes as it has emerged that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has received a complaint about the Home Office’s campaign to deter migrants from coming to the UK without making clear that the information comes from the department. The ICO is considering whether to launch an investigation.
The migrantsonthemove.org website, created by the Home Office, states: “The UK asylum process does not offer any advantages. It is safer and easier to apply for asylum in the country you’re in now.”
The front organisation, On the Move, has been promoted to asylum-seekers in France and Belgium as part of a £23,000 social media campaign by the Home Office.
The CIPR has accused the Home Office of “a lack of transparency” in creating a website that claims to be a reliable and objective source of information but does not disclose its publisher.
Despite this reprimand, there was no visible correction or clarification on the website on Saturday stating that it is a Home Office website.