Ministers deny claim that Suella Braverman blocked hotel bookings for migrants in Tory-voting areas

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Ministers deny claim that Suella Braverman blocked hotel bookings for migrants in Tory-voting areas that would have eased pressure on Kent processing centre at heart of crisis

  • Home Sec accused of vetoing movement out of Manston to hotels in Tory areas
  • LBC said source revealed three hotels in Labour areas approved last week 
  • Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick denied there was a political motive

Ministers have rejected claims that the Home Secretary blocked moves to put migrants in hotel rooms if they were situated in ‘Tory voting areas’.

Suella Braverman has been accused of vetoing the movement of people out of the heavily overcrowded Manston holding centre if their destinations was a Conservative constituency.

The radio station LBC cited a Home Office source who said three hotels in Labour areas were approved last week, but claimed Ms Braverman continued a policy started by predecessor Priti Patel of blocking this in areas controlled by her party. 

However Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick denied there was a political motive. 

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‘The people who live in Kent have faced a huge burden as a result of illegal migration – not just this year but over many, many years,’ he told LBC.

‘I have huge sympathy for them and their local councils and the work they’ve had to do on behalf of the whole country.

‘We are working to try to disperse individuals across the whole of the United Kingdom so this burden is fair – there’s no politics in that – it’s simply a matter of practicality.’

Ministers deny claim that Suella Braverman blocked hotel bookings for migrants in Tory-voting areas

Suella Braverman has been accused of vetoing the movement of people out of the heavily overcrowded Manston holding centre if their destinations was a Conservative constituency.

The radio station LBC cited a Home Office source who said three hotels in Labour areas were approved last week, but claimed Ms Braverman continued a policy started by predecessor Priti Patel of blocking this in areas controlled by her party.

The radio station LBC cited a Home Office source who said three hotels in Labour areas were approved last week, but claimed Ms Braverman continued a policy started by predecessor Priti Patel of blocking this in areas controlled by her party.

Manston has tripled in size since May, when seven tents were being used to house asylum seekers compared to 21 yesterday as numbers have swelled

Manston has tripled in size since May, when seven tents were being used to house asylum seekers compared to 21 yesterday as numbers have swelled

However Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick denied there was a political motive.

However Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick denied there was a political motive.

But Liberal Democrat Cabinet Office spokeswoman Christine Jardine said: ‘If this is true, it’s yet another example of the Conservatives putting their party’s interests ahead of the national interest and the rule of law.

‘Suella Braverman has yet more serious questions to answer about her conduct as Home Secretary.

‘Now more than ever there must be a Cabinet Office Inquiry, this is the final straw.’

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As many as 50,000 migrants could could cross the Channel this year, a minister has today warned, as Home Officials prepare to bus out ‘large numbers’ of asylum seekers from one of its overcrowded processing centres.

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick today gave the prediction during a round of broadcast and radio interviews – as pressure builds on the Government to solve the growing migrant crisis.

If correct, the 50,000 prediction – roughly equal to the population of the Hampshire county town of Winchester – would be a new yearly record. It would also be nearly double the total number of people who made the perilous crossing last year.

It comes as the Home Secretary Suella Braverman today told the Cabinet that the Home Office had reopened its Dover immigration centre following a fire-bomb attack on Sunday. 

The Western Jet Foil centre, used to process asylum seekers after their arrival in the UK, was closed following the attack – which was carried out by a man who later took his own life.

It had led to a large build up of migrants at its Manston site in Kent, which has been labelled ‘inhuman’ amid reports of severe overcrowding and outbreaks of violence and diphtheria.

A ‘large number’ of migrants will now be taken from the site and moved to over locations in a bid to ‘relieve pressure on Manston’, Ms Braverman is said to have told the Cabinet.

During a press briefing today, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘(At Cabinet) The Home Secretary provided a further update on the situation in Manston.

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‘She said the Western Jet Foil centre (in Dover) had reopened and that large numbers of people were being taken from Manston to other accommodation to help relieve pressure.

‘She said unprecedented numbers of crossings continue to cause challenges and a whole-government approach would be needed to tackle it.’

It comes as it was claimed today that migrants at the controversial Manston camp in Kent have been sleeping on the floor of marquees for a month, are not allowed to use toilets with the doors closed and have not had a GP stationed on site until this week.

Staff at the immigration centre near Ramsgate in Kent have also witnessed ‘incredibly tense’ scenes in the last 24 hours – with some telling bosses they are terrified for their safety and locals reporting regular escapes.

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