Boat migrants must be booked in three-star hotels at least, Home Office tells contractors as costs of housing them soars to £8m a day
- A senior Tory said Home Office has ‘completely failed to get a grip’ on hotels
The Home Office has said small-boat migrants must be booked in three-star hotels at least as housing costs soar to £8million a day.
In a contract issued by the department, there is a list of ‘mandatory requirements’ for hotels, which includes: ‘Contracted venues should be at least a minimum of three stars.’
It hasn’t been disclosed how many hotels are tied to this contract and the Home Office said it is also using a separate agreement doesn’t have a star requirement according to The Telegraph.
Despite MPs in he House of Commons challenging the use of hotels, Home Secretary Suella Braverman has not disclosed any specifics on the issue.
Meanwhile, this week she told Parliament the use of hotels is ‘unacceptable’ and that ‘too many towns and cities around the country now house the 45,000 asylum seekers who are in hotels’.
The cost of housing migrants in hotels has risen to £8 million a day. Pictured: Atrium hotel which is hosting asylum seekers
The Refugee Action charity said despite the standards set in the document, many asylum seekers are ‘forced to live in grotty buildings’
‘It is not right that the British taxpayer is forking out the cost,’ she added.
READ MORE: Asylum seeker who chronicled his journey from France to UK on TikTok is now living in ‘ultra chic, sophisticated’ four-star hotel with the ‘cosiest beds in London’
A spokesman for the Home Office said most hotels did not have a minimum star requirement and the use of hotels was a temporary solution.
Conservative MP Sir John Hayes said his constituents in South Holland The Deepings would not expect migrants to be house in hotels they couldn’t afford to stay in themselves.
‘We need to provide safe and clean accommodation but it should be basic – three-star is well above the level taxpayers would expect to be funding. In truth, we’ve got to move these people out of hotels altogether,’ he added.
The Refugee Action charity said despite the standards set in the document, many asylum seekers are ‘forced to live in grotty buildings’.
The Home Office’s annual report revealed the bill for asylum hotels had risen to £8 million a day.
Safety issues and legal challenges have hamper ministers’ ambitions to accommodate migrants on the Bibby Stockholm barge and military bases.
Despite this, the report stated military bases would be ‘scaled up over the coming months’.
There are currently 45,000 asylum seekers staying in hotels, according to Home Secretary Suella Braverman
Despite MPs in he House of Commons challenging the use of hotels, Home Secretary Suella Braverman (pictured) has not disclosed any specifics on the issue
An unnamed senior Conservative said the level of spending on hotels was ‘alarming’ and many colleagues had lost confidence in the Government’s schemes such as Bibby Stockholm.
‘It’s pretty obvious that the Home Office has completely failed to get a grip on the use of the hotels.
‘The Home Secretary’s rhetoric does not match the reality – she says she’s got a grip on this but the situation is out of control,’ they said.
Steve Smith MBE, chief executive of refugee charity Care4Calais, said the people he work with don’t want to be in hotels, they want to be ‘part of the community’.
He said he UK Government is ‘solely responsible’ for the use of asylum hotels
Asylum seekers pictured outside the Atrium Hotel. Steve Smith MBE, chief executive of refugee charity Care4Calais, said the people he works with don’t want to be in hotels, they want to be ‘part of the community’
An unnamed senior Conservative said the level of spending on hotels was ‘alarming’ and many colleagues had lost confidence in the Government’s schemes such as Bibby Stockholm (pictured)
‘The number of hotels being used to accommodate asylum seekers, and the associated costs, started to increase at the point where the Government slowed down the processing of asylum claims,’ he added.
On Monday, Tory MP Sir Edward Leigh accused the Government of ‘wasting public money’ with delayed attempts to convert RAF Scampton into asylum accommodation.
Mrs Braverman responded: ‘Ultimately, it is not right that we continue to house tens of thousands of migrants in hotels, in towns and cities across the country.
‘That is why our work to roll out large sites is moving swiftly, and we propose to move asylum seekers on to them as soon as possible.’
Source: Read Full Article