UK asylum system is 'a draw' for migrants says expert
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Migrants are set to share hotels with members of the public as Suella Braverman attempts to solve the problem of “catastrophic overcrowding” at the Manston asylum processing centre in Kent. Facilities such as holiday parks and disused student accommodation are also being considered by the Home Office to take people currently staying at Manston.
On Sunday hundreds of migrants had to be transferred to Manston after the Tug Haven Centre in Dover had its reception centre petrol bombed by a man who then took his own life.
That night the centre was forced to house 4,000 people, despite only being built to cater for 1,600 to be processed within 24 hours.
Ms Braverman has faced criticism for allegedly refusing to approve hotels where refugees could be sent to, although reports of this have been disputed by some.
Manston could also be majorly expanded after the Home Office warned that holding so many people, including some for up to four weeks, is unlawful.
A Government source told The Telegraph: “To make it easier and more efficient, we are looking at spot booking of hotels rather than requiring a whole hotel.
“We have two competing legal duties. First, we don’t want to have people in Manston for too long.
“Secondly, we have a legal duty not to make people destitute. You cannot have thousands of people sent away with no plan to safely accommodate them.”
Senior Tory MPs have voiced their concerns that tensions within the community are rising over the record number of asylum seekers making the journey across the Channel.
They have urged the Government to also pursue a new deal with France to stem the flow of people making such a dangerous trip.
Sir Roger Gale, the MP for the Manston area, will on Monday seek to summon ministers to the Commons to give an “undertaking that instead of trying to pretend things can be handled at Manston, they commission enough accommodation” in order for all people to be processed and moved on within 24 hours.
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Warning that he would oppose any moves to expand the Manston centre, Sir Roger said: “The system has broken down because they are not being moved on.”
Tory MP for Dover Natalie Elphicke said: “We have to see the Prime Minister speaking directly with President Emmanuel Macron to get a different agreement in terms of stopping the small boats immediately and dealing with the source of the problem.”
Tim Loughton, a former minister and Conservative member of the home affairs committee, said: “The Government has not got a grip on this. The Home Office is still in a shambolic state.”
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