Channel migrants to be moved out of 50 hotels by January in bid to slash £8m a day bill, Robert Jenrick says

24 October 2023, 05:33 | Updated: 24 October 2023, 14:01

Asylum seekers will be moved out of luxury hotels
Asylum seekers will be moved out of luxury hotels. Picture: Getty
Natasha Clark

By Natasha Clark

Small boat migrants will be moved out of 50 hotels by January, Robert Jenrick has told MPs.

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The immigration minister announced that thousands of people would be moved from their accommodation in the coming weeks in a bid to slash the huge cost to the taxpayer.

Around £8million a day is spent paying for hotels for tens of thousands of asylum seekers and those who arrive on small boats - including some four star properties.

Immigration minister Mr Jenrick declared that migrants using hotels is "completely unacceptable" and hotels should be "assets for tourists, hosting events we treasure like weddings and birthdays" instead.

He said: "Today the Home Office wrote to local authorities and MPs that we will be exiting the first asylum hotels.. in all 4 nations.

"50 of these will begin in the coming days, and be complete by the end of January."

Read more: First asylum seekers reboard Bibby Stockholm after coach driver breaks through Just Stop Oil blockade

Read more: Iranian kingpin who smuggled 10,000 migrants to UK in Europe-wide criminal operation is jailed for 11 years

Stoke Rochford Hall
Stoke Rochford Hall. Picture: Getty

They will be put into larger scale sites like disused military accommodation sites, with some staying on the Bibby Stockholm barge off the coast of Portland.

And more will be told to share rooms in a bid to cut space and "deter" people from making the dangerous crossing across the Channel, he said today.

Getting people to share rooms, alternative accommodation, and more funding for councils, has saved the Home Office from having to use a further 72 hotels by "creating thousands of additional beds", he declared.

And more than 4,000 Albanian migrants have been sent back in the last year, he said.

Ministers have increased enforcement raids by two thirds in the last year, Mr Jenrick claimed, with the number of fines being issued to dodgy landlords who turn a blind eye to illegal migrants doubling.

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover on Monday
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover on Monday. Picture: Alamy

Posh hotels used for migrants include the Grosvenor Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon and Scalford Country House Hotel in Melton Mowbray.

Meanwhile the Bibby Stockholm reopened for migrants last week, after 39 migrants were removed in August amid legionella bacteria fears.

The number of migrants arriving in small boats this year is down nearly a third compared to the same point in 2022.

A total of 26,116 have been brought ashore since the start of 2023, which compares with 37,575 by this point last year.

Tom Swarbrick dismisses this callers 'solution' to small boat immigration

The Home Office announced on Friday that an annual cap on the number of refugees accepted in the UK would be launched in January 2025.

Local authorities are being invited to set out their "capacity" to accommodate people coming to Britain via safe and legal routes in order to determine the limit, the department said.

Plans for a cap were introduced in the Government's flagship Illegal Migration Bill, which became law earlier this year, but until Friday a date for its launch had not been fixed.

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