‘This is a very expensive way to be cruel’: Green Party Spokesperson takes aim at Bibby Stockholm barge

7 August 2023, 20:55 | Updated: 8 August 2023, 06:13

Bibby Stockholm barge
Bibby Stockholm barge. Picture: Lbc/Alamy
Madeleine Wilson

By Madeleine Wilson

Iain Dale speaks to the Green Party spokesperson for refugees and migrants Benali Hamdache after the first 15 migrants board the Bibby Stockholm.

Green Party spokesperson for refugees and migrants Benali Hamdache told Iain Dale that the barge was an 'expensive way to be cruel'.

The call comes after the first group of migrants boarded the Bibby Stockholm as the controversial barge begins operating as housing for asylum seekers.

The initial tranche of 15 people have started boarding the barge which is moored in Portland, as they were seen dragging suitcases onto the vessel on Monday.

Mr. Hamdache said: "This barge is a drop in the ocean. This government doesn't have an interest in governing. What they do have an interest in, is this being debated every single day.

"They're not interested in looking at the real solutions which would help deliver a fairer kinder process for refugees and clear the backlog."

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Iain came back with: "This whole conversation from you, I'm afraid, has been a scaremongering conversation..it's just not right what you're saying."

Mr. Hamdache continued: "Well, let's be frank, the use of hotels is a better solution than the barge itself.

"The barge contract is 1.6 billion for 500 migrants. It is a very expensive way to be cruel."

The government had expected up to 50 migrants to the board today - but this expectation was dashed by a series of legal challenges at the last minute.