The UK Home Office is forcing some contractors to book hotels with “at least three stars” to house asylum seekers, a policy that is said to involve costs of 8 million pounds – per day.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman said she is “very concerned about hotels” and called their use “unacceptable”.
– It is totally unacceptable that too many towns and cities around the country now house the 45,000 asylum seekers who are in hotels… it is not right that the British taxpayer is forking out the cost, she told Parliament.
The latest contract from Braverman’s department, obtained by The Telegraph, lists “mandatory requirements” for all hotels booked. Among other things, it states that “The location of the accommodation will be carried out at locations close to amenities and transport networks. Contracted venues should be at least a minimum of three stars”.
The Home Office would not disclose how many three-star hotels have been booked on behalf of migrants, but the new regulations came into effect in February. Braverman also declined to reveal what “amenities” it believes asylum seekers need to have close at hand – but it is clear that hotels in British cities and seaside resorts have been used to house them.
However, a Home Office spokesperson claims that “the vast majority” of hotels used to house asylum seekers are not three-star and that the contract requiring three-star hotels has been used “minimally”.
Conservative politician Sir John Hayes said that boat migrants arriving in the UK should expect a much more basic standard than three, four or five star hotels.
– My constituents wouldn’t expect any illegal immigrant to be housed in a place 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.
British ministers have also pledged to reduce the soaring cost of migration by allowing more migrants to share hotel rooms and converting barges and military bases into asylum accommodation. However, there are no plans to stop the flow of migrants completely.