Regina v Wandsworth London Borough Council, Ex Parte O; Leicester City Council, Ex Parte Bhikha: CA 7 Sep 2000

The applicants were immigrants awaiting determination of their applications for exceptional leave to remain, and who came to suffer from serious illness. Each applied for and was refused assistance from their local authority.
Held: The refusals were unlawful. Where circumstances of need arose over and above needs arising from lack of accommodation and funds, then he qualified for assistance irrespective of his immigration status. That status was a matter to be assessed by the Secretary of State, and not by local authorities. The use of the word ‘solely’ in the new section 21(1A) left the local authority with a responsibility for those whose need for care and attention was attributable to a combination of factors, and not simply to destitution and its effects. If the applicant’s need for more care and attention was ‘to any extent made more acute by some circumstance other than the mere lack of accommodation and funds’ e.g. because she is old, ill or disabled, then she is not excluded by section 21(1A).


Simon Brown LJ, Hale LJ


Gazette 07-Sep-2000, [2000] 1 WLR 2539, [2000] EWCA Civ 201, Times 18-Jul-2000




National Assistance Act 1948 21(1A)


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedRegina (Mani) v Lambeth London Borough Council, Regina (Tasci) v Enfield London Borough Council, Regina (J) v Same Admn 18-Apr-2002
The applicants were asylum seekers, but also had disabilities, and sought housing assistance from the local authorities. The authorities replied that they had no duty to provide housing because of the Immigration Act.
Held: The 1948 Act . .
CitedRegina (on the Application of Mani) v London Borough of Lambeth CA 9-Jul-2003
Where a destitute and disabled asylum seeker had a clear need for care and attention, the local authority had a duty to provide it. The claimant was an asylum seeker, with impaired mobility and a history of mental halth difficulties. At first he was . .
CitedRegina (T) v the Secretary of State for the Home Department; similar CA 23-Sep-2003
The claimant asylum seeker had been refused benefits having failed to declare his application on entry. The Secretary now appealed a finding that the decision was flawed. Was the treatment of the applicant inhuman or degrading?
Held: No simple . .
CitedWestminster City Council v National Asylum Support Service HL 17-Oct-2002
The applicant sought assistance from the local authority. He suffered from spinal myeloma, was destitute and an asylum seeker.
Held: Although the Act had withdrawn the obligation to provide assistance for many asylum seekers, those who were . .
CitedM v London Borough of Islington and Another CA 2-Apr-2004
The applicant asylum seeker had had her application refused, and was awaiting a removal order. She had a child and asked the authority to house her pending her removal.
Held: Provided she was not in breach of the removal order, the council had . .
CitedM, Regina (on the Application of) v Slough Borough Council HL 30-Jul-2008
The House was asked ‘whether a local social services authority is obliged, under section 21(1)(a) of the 1948 Act, to arrange (and pay for) residential accommodation for a person subject to immigration control who is HIV positive but whose only . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Local Government, Immigration, Benefits

Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.85603