UK a 'laughing stock' for allowing migrants to 'get off boats and go straight into four-star hotels', minister says

25 October 2023, 08:44 | Updated: 25 October 2023, 09:21

Robert Jenrick brands UK's immigration system a 'laughing stock'

Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

The UK has become a "laughing stock" after allowing migrants to cross the channel into the UK and walk straight into four-star hotels, the immigration minister has told LBC.

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Robert Jenrick told LBC that the use of four-star hotels to house migrants is "unacceptable" and that he understood why taxpayers look on "aghast".

"It does make the UK a bit of a laughing stock that people come across on a small boat and end up in one of those hotels," Mr Jenrick told LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast.

It comes after the immigration minister announced small boat migrants will be moved out of 50 hotels by January.

Migrants come off small boats and straight into four-star hotels, Minister Robert Jenrick has said
Migrants come off small boats and straight into four-star hotels, Minister Robert Jenrick has said. Picture: Alamy
The Government hopes to end the use of hotels for migrants
The Government hopes to end the use of hotels for migrants. Picture: Alamy

Thousands of people will be moved from their accommodation in the coming weeks in a bid to slash the huge cost to the taxpayer, Mr Jenrick told MPs on Tuesday.

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.

Mr Jenrick also said that the use of migrants using hotels is "completely unacceptable" and that hotels should be "assets for tourists, hosting events we treasure like weddings and birthdays".

Read More: Just Stop Oil bid to block first migrants from returning to Bibby Stockholm barge

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

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

Around 50 people are currently on the Bibby Stockholm, though this is expected to increase in the coming weeks.

Nick Ferrari speaks to Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick

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.

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