§ 27. Mr. Malins
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to reduce the backlog of asylum applications. 
§ Mrs. Roche
We are developing new procedures to speed up the consideration of cases in the current backlog. In addition we are recruiting around 250 new staff to deal purely with asylum applications, and training more of our existing staff in asylum skills. The Immigration and Asylum Bill sets out our proposals to deliver a more effective asylum system. This will protect those in genuine need of protection while dealing swiftly and firmly with unfounded applications. The Bill will deliver key elements of our strategy to reform the asylum system, including new support arrangements for asylum seekers.