End use as "asylum hotel" demands MP

THE Government must end the use of the Holiday Inn Express as an “asylum hotel”, MP John Healey has demanded.
DEBATE: Mr Healey in the CommonsDEBATE: Mr Healey in the Commons
DEBATE: Mr Healey in the Commons

Wentworth & Dearne MP Mr Healey has written to the immigration minister Robert Jenrick asking him to end the Home Office’s contract to house asylum seekers in the hotel at Manvers.

Mr Jenrick told the House of Commons on Tuesday that hotels should be used for wedding and birthdays, and not housing illegal migrants at “unsustainable cost to the taxpayer”.

The immigration minister confirmed reports the government would stop using 50 hotels by the end of January, and would leave further sites later.

Mr Healey, who was in the house for the minister’s statement, said: “Our Manvers hotel has been used by the Home Office as an asylum hotel for over 18 months now, despite repeated objections from Rotherham Council, local residents and me as their local MP.

“The hotel and the Manvers area are totally unsuited to house asylum seekers and I wrote again last month to the home secretary asking for clarification on whether or not the contract would be extended beyond October 2023. As I have still not had a reply, I am writing today to ask you to release our Manvers hotel in line with the previous commitments I’ve been given by ministers that its use as an asylum hotel would be a on a ‘temporary basis’.

“I am also set to meet with the owners of the hotel next week to make clear to them that I remain determined to see the hotel back open operating as a hotel.”

In a letter to Mr Jenrick, he said: “Important information was not contained in your Commons statement, so I would be grateful if you could provide the following answers:

“How decisions on which hotels are to be stood down will be taken? And who will make the decisions?

“What criteria are being used to determine the priorities for ending hotel asylum contracts?

“When we can expect the use of all hotels for asylum hotels to end, as the Prime Minister promised people a year ago?”

The hotel has been the scene of protests from some residents and counter-protests during the 18 months it has been used as asylum seeker accommodation.

Rotherham Council has also objected.