Suella Braverman has been accused of “shocking” and “cruel” plans over a proposal to deal with asylum seekers in tents.
The dwelling secretary is engaged on contingency plans to make use of marquees, forward of an anticipated rise within the variety of folks arriving throughout the English Channel by small boats.
It is believed they’d be used if essential to keep away from costly last-minute resort bookings.
But Labour accused ministers of “flailing” between “gimmicks” which proved the federal government’s plans to “stop the boats” had been failing.
Writing in The Independent, former justice secretary Lord Falconer warned that “creating tented refugee camps in disused army bases around the country…[is] against the law.”
Refugee charities accused the house secretary of attempting to “demonise people seeking asylum”.
And Labour’s Lord Dubs who arrived arriving within the UK as a toddler refugee, informed The Independent the transfer risked creating one other camp like that seen in Calais, and which was dubbed the “Jungle”.
“The procurement of tents is a complete sign of the failure of the government’s policy. Will it end up like Calais? Absolutely. To put people in tents – even if the tents are better than anything (in Calais) … – it’s still pretty shocking.”
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas described it as “another poisonous and performative measure” which “debases asylum seekers rather than treats them like human beings”.
Despite the prime minister’s vow to “stop the boats” greater than 14,000 folks have made the journey to date this yr.
The tents plan comes after a Home Office transfer to deal with folks on barges moored off-shore stalled as a result of the vessels have struggled to search out anyplace to dock.
A spokesperson for the division stated it was “looking at a range of accommodation options” to switch using motels, following a backlash over prices.
Rights teams blasted the “cruel” plans and stated folks ought to be housed safely.
Tim Naor Hilton, chief government of Refugee Action, stated: “It’s staggering the home secretary plans to use what a government source compared to a concentration camp to house people seeking asylum – in the same week courts ruled she broke the law three times with her inhumane treatment of refugees.
“This is yet another way the government has developed to demonise people seeking asylum, which is rooted in its deeply racist approach to refugee protection.
“It really shouldn’t be too much to ask that people who have fled violence, torture and persecution have their claims assessed quickly and justly and are housed in safe homes in our communities.”
He stated the “winners” from the “cruel plan” can be contractors making tens of millions from taxpayers.
The Times, which first reported the acquisition of the tents, which it stated might accommodate as much as 2,000 folks, cited authorities sources saying the same proposal to deal with migrants in marquees was rejected final yr due to warnings it will set off authorized challenges based mostly on inhumane remedy of asylum seekers. The newspaper additionally stated some in authorities had in contrast the concept to focus camps.
Officials say that the tents will not be meant for routine use, however are there as a contingency within the occasion of a surge in channel crossings. On earlier events the federal government has booked resort rooms on the final minute, incurring important expense.
The shadow dwelling secretary Yvette Cooper informed LBC that the backlog of instances on the Home Office had soared and accused Ms Braverman of indulging in “gimmicks”.
“We’ve seen them really flailing around with the barges, the bases, the tents now, and actually all this is alongside increasing hotel use when they should be ending hotel use,” she stated,
“Because they’re simply not taking asylum decisions. They’ve let the backlog soar.”
Ms Cooper stated the house secretary’s actions appeared to indicate that “even the government doesn’t believe” that its newest authorized crackdown on folks crossing the channel on small boats would work.
She added: “Instead is just going to increase the backlog. That’s just going to cause more problems. We need grip, not gimmicks.”
An enormous backlog of claims on the Home Office implies that on the finish of 2022 there have been round 132,000 asylum purposes awaiting an preliminary choice within the UK, comprising round 161,000 folks.
A authorities spokesperson stated: “We have been clear that the use of hotels to house asylum seekers is unacceptable – there are currently more than 51,000 asylum seekers in hotels costing the UK taxpayer £6m a day.
“We continue to work across government and with local authorities to look at a range of accommodation options.
“Accommodation offered to asylum seekers, on a no-choice basis, meets our legal and contractual requirements.”