This is what that 'five-star' immigrant hostel really looks like

Evan Bartlett (@ev_bartlett@ev_bartlett
Monday 29 December 2014 15:10

Scroll down for photos of the supposed luxury

Today, the Daily Express carries a story over the "fury" of a "furnished" and "MASSIVE" hostel to house homeless migrants in Calais.

The Ukip-supporting tabloid says this "soft-touch French approach" will "encourage more migrants" looking to "sneak into" Britain.

The Express doesn't use any photos of the hostel itself - let's not get bogged down with details here - but rather uses a stock image of a wood-panelled bed that looks like something out of an Alpine ski chalet.

They even put “cold weather emergency centre” in quote marks as if questioning the legitimacy of its stated purpose.

Unsurprisingly, a Ukip politician has offered their thoughts on the new centre. Janice Atkinson, Ukip MEP for South East England, told the paper: “Making their stay there more comfortable will not ease the problem for the people of Calais who have to live with the disruption or us who have to deal with the issue of illegal immigration once they get into Britain."

In reality the "hostel" is an old warehouse, two miles outside the town centre, with some mattresses on the floor. Judging by the woolly hats everyone is wearing (see below) we're guessing it's not all that warm.

The Express carried a photo of the warehouse earlier this month, but didn't think to use it in today's story. As you can see from the photo, shared over 1,000 times, it hardly looks "five-star":

The paper notes with apparent disdain that the former warehouse has "been kitted out with mattresses, hot showers and feeding points... to house a growing refugee army."

Local official Denis Robin told the Express the centre and food points were “humanitarian gestures”. In a more balanced article in the Daily Mail (yes, really), they point out that he also said the hostel would only be open on certain nights and the people using them would be "forced out" by 9am each morning.

Temperatures in the French port have reached freezing point overnight this week and winds have been so high that heavy-duty security fences have been warped and blown down.

The shelter, run by the Solid'R association, and captured in photos here by the AFP press agency, is giving out blankets and food to migrants. Many of them have left war-zones and poverty to trek across Europe because they think Britain might offer them a safe home.

But perhaps their critics would rather they were left on the streets to die.

More: Expect more of these inglorious headlines if the Express backs Ukip