The requirement to obtain the permission of the Secretary of State to view an immigration removal centre (IRC) is set out in the Detention Centre Rules 2001. In addition to security and safety considerations, visits to view IRCs can affect the regime for detainees and are therefore subject to careful consideration and management to minimise disruption and intrusion.
All requests for visits by Honourable Members require the agreement of the Minister for Immigration, with local constituency MPs generally given priority over non-constituency MPs.
Management information shows that over the last 3 years 22 Honourable Members have requested to visit an IRC, including Yarl’s Wood, of which 21 were granted clearance to visit. This is provisional management information and has not been assured to the standard of Official Statistics.