Home secretary claims The Guardian will 'meltdown' over Government's immigration plan
A Tory MP has slammed the government for its handling of conditions in an asylum processing centre.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Sir Roger Gale who represents a Kent constituency that is home to the overcrowded Manston asylum processing centre, said the government had made a "car crash" decision and added to Sky News that the overcrowding was "wholly unacceptable".
The MP said: “There are simply far too many people and this situation should never have been allowed to develop, and I’m not sure that it hasn’t almost been developed deliberately.”
He added he was told that the Home Office was finding it very difficult to secure hotel accommodation, adding that he now understands that this was a policy issue and a decision was taken not to book additional hotel space.
“That’s like driving a car down a motorway, seeing the motorway clear ahead, then there’s a car crash, and then suddenly there’s a five mile tailback.
“The car crash was the decision not to book more hotel space,” he said.
Meanwhile, he told Sky News: “There are now 4,000 people in a facility that was designed to hold 1,500. That is wholly unacceptable.”
The MP added: “These circumstances I believe now, were a problem made in the Home Office.”
“I do believe, whoever is responsible, either the previous Home Secretary or this one, has to be held to account because a bad decision was taken and it has led to what I would regard as a breach of humane conditions.”
\u201c\u201cBecause of the Home Office decision not to book hotel space, the inevitable has happened\u201d. \n\nConservative MP Sir Roger Gale tells @GMB that numbers at Manston asylum processing centre have gone from 2500 to 4000 in four days. Seems to blame Home Sec. \u201d
It comes as the Home Secretary Suella Braverman is being criticised as she allegedly failed to take notice of legal advice that migrants were being detained at the facility for unlawfully long periods, the Sunday Times reported.
She is also understood to have blocked migrants from being moved into hotels from Manston, which is supposed to be a temporary processing facility where people stay no longer than a few hours.
indy100 contacted the Home Office to comment on this story. A spokesperson said:
"“The Home Secretary has taken urgent decisions to alleviate issues at Manston and source alternative accommodation.
“It is right we look at all available options so decisions can be made based on the latest operational and legal advice.
“The number of people arriving in the UK via small boats has reached record levels, which has put our asylum system under incredible pressure and costs the British taxpayer millions of pounds a day.”
They added: "Manston remains resourced and equipped to process migrants securely and we will provide alternative accommodation as soon as possible.
“We urge anyone who is thinking about leaving a safe country and risk their lives at the hands of vile people smugglers to seriously reconsider. Despite what they have been told, they will not be allowed to start a new life here.”
It is a simple and fundamental principle that the government derives its democratic legitimacy from the people. The future of the country must not be decided by plotting and U-turns at Westminster; it must be decided by the people in a general election. And for this reason The Independent is calling for an election to be held. Have your say and sign our election petition by clicking here.
Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.