Cruise ship asylum seeker housing plan axed by Liverpool port officials

The UK government’s proposal to use a large cruise ship to accommodate 500 asylum-seeking men near Liverpool has been abandoned after port officials rejected the plan. The decision by Peel Ports has halted the Home Office’s efforts to create a seventh site for housing migrants as part of a wider crackdown on illegal immigration.

The rejection follows a similar decision by London’s Royal Docks, which informed the Home Office last month that it would not permit a barge for housing asylum seekers to be moored near City Airport. Scott Derben, managing director of London’s Royal Docks, stated: “After investigation, it was concluded that this would not be an appropriate use for the Royal Docks.”

The use of barges and former military barracks is part of the government’s strategy to deter migrants from attempting dangerous Channel crossings in small boats and to reduce the £6m daily expenditure on hotels. However, charities and opposition MPs have criticised these plans, urging the government to focus on reducing the backlog of asylum seekers.

Conservative MPs have also expressed opposition to the sites being operated in their areas. Richard Drax, MP for South Dorset, described the vessel scheduled to dock in his constituency in the coming weeks as “nothing more than a quasi-prison.”

In addition to the Bibby Stockholm, which is set to arrive in Portland off the coast of Dorset shortly, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced last week that the government had acquired two more vessels. He did not disclose where they would be moored, but there has been speculation about possible locations in Liverpool and Middlesbrough.

World News

Jamie Cartwright

Jamie is a keen traveler, writer, and (English) teacher. A few years after finishing school in the East Mids, UK, he went traveling around South America and Asia. Several teaching and writing jobs, he found himself at The Thaiger where he mostly covers international news and events.

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