MP brands hotels housing asylum seekers ‘greedy' following plea for properties not to be named

17 November 2022 by
MP brands hotels housing asylum seekers ‘greedy' following plea for properties not to be named

An MP has branded hoteliers entering agreements to house asylum seekers "greedy" and said he will continue to "name and shame them" despite pleas for specific locations not to be disclosed.

The Refugee Council's chief executive, Enver Solomon, wrote to House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle requesting that MPs be told to refrain from publicly identifying hotels housing people seeking asylum, the Guardian reported.

According to the newspaper, she wrote: "It has been Home Office practice to not publicly name hotels where people are staying in order to guard their safety and privacy, but we know that increasingly MPs are naming specific premises when they raise this issue.

"It is of course right that MPs should be able to raise any constituency issue in parliament, but this can be done without identifying a specific hotel."

In response, Lee Anderson, who is Conservative MP for Ashfield and Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, wrote on Facebook: "Like many of you, I am sick and tired of seeing our hospitality abused and people who are simply economic migrants cheating our system via small boats and dodgy human rights legislation. I will not be silenced and will name and shame these greedy hotel owners."

The Home Office has a practise of not naming hotels or hotel groups it enters agreements with to house migrants, in case doing so could lead to reprisals.

Earlier this week it was reported that a hotel in East Riding, Yorkshire, had its sign vandalised after it was named following legal action taken by the borough council.

Several hotels had been identified following legal action launched by local authorities, including in the case of the Humber View Hotel and the Novotel Ipswich Centre. Last week the councils' requests for injunctions preventing the placement of further asylum seekers in the properties were refused by the high court.

The use of hotels to house migrants remains contentious. Earlier this week Jonathan Gullis, Conservative MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, Kidsgrove & Talke, said in parliament: "I am sick to the back teeth of hotels being used in our great city, being dumped on by Serco, because we entered [the Asylum Dispersal Scheme]. The local authority is against it, the police are against it, all three MPs are against it and for good reason."

Serco is responsible for accommodating 35,645 people seeking asylum in the UK.

Approximately 11,200 people are currently being provided with accommodation in 84 hotels across the country, court documents showed last week.

The Refugee Council has been contacted for further comment.

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