Sir Brandon Lewis has welcomed a government announcement that they will cease using a hotel in Great Yarmouth to house illegal migrants waiting for an asylum decision by Home Office officials.
Commenting on the decision Sir Brandon said, “This is a positive announcement. Great Yarmouth Conservatives led the way last year in opposing plans to use hotels to house illegal migrants in a tourist area of the town. Conservative councillors were courageous in launching a legal challenge by the Borough Council, in which they were backed by the court judge.”
“However, that legal decision did not prevent the continued use of hotels outside the strictly defined tourism area. Since then, I’ve continued to lobby government ministers to end the crazy system paying £8 million of taxpayer’s money to fund hotel accommodation that should be an asset for their local community.”
In the Parliamentary statement Immigration Minister, Robert Jenrick, confirmed that the Home Office would cease using hotels within days, and would have exited from 50 of these hotels by the end of January 2024. A Hotel Victoria in Great Yarmouth is included in this first tranche of hotel closures.
Sir Brandon continued, “Illegal migration and its impact on housing lists and public services is unfair on the British taxpayer. The use of hotels has exacerbated that unfairness. There are other acceptable accommodation centres that should be utilised including disused military bases and the reutilised oil worker accommodation barge in Portland Harbour. I am delighted to see that there is also a marked increase in dealing with outstanding claims, with the Home Office now processing 4,500 per week compared to 400 this time last year. There should be no complacency on this issue, we need to keep processing claims efficiently and tackling the pernicious human trafficking by the boat gangs across the English Channel.”