Children of failed asylum seekers awaiting deportation will no longer be detained, Nick Clegg confirmed today.
The family section of the Yarl's Wood detention centre will close by May, while the deputy prime minister added there would be no children of asylum seekers held in detention this Christmas.
The news has delighted campaigners and children's groups, who had feared the policy had been stalled by numerous delays.
The announcement also has political implications, given its place as a key Liberal Democrat manifesto commitment being carried into practise - something Mr Clegg is desperate to demonstrate in the wake of the battering of his reputation in the tuition fees saga.
Asylum seekers themselves will still be held at the detention centre, but their children will be looked after by minders and be able to move freely.