'It's like a floating hotel': Ex-prisoner had no problems being on ship set to house migrants

6 April 2023, 11:59

Ex-prisoner 'doesn't see the problem' with housing migrants on barges

By Phoebe Dampare Osei

This caller suggests the migrants won't have much of a problem being housed on the Bibby Stockholm in Dorset while their asylum claims are processed.

Nick Ferrari at Breakfast on LBC had asked Robert in Epsom what his "gut feel" was towards the government's plans.

The caller replied: "I was on that ship about 20 years ago and I had no problems being on it."

"I was told that it was used in the oil industry as living accommodation and they converted to a prison ship", he explained, adding that he was "sentenced on there".

Robert continued: "It is like a floating hotel. You have fully fitted carpet, ensuite bathroom and toilet - in my case a shower - you had tv radio, gymnasium, medical care, you had a swimming pool."

The inmates also had time for "association" where the cabin doors would be opened to allow them to socialise.

"I had no problems being on that ship", he told Nick, suggesting the migrants wouldn't have much of a problem either.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak hails mega-barge being towed from Italy to Dorset to house 500 migrants as 'value for money'

Dominic Raab doesn't know how many barges are available

In this controversial plan, the government wants to move migrants and asylum seekers out of hotels to cut costs of around £6m a day, according to the Home Office.

The Bibby Stockholm barge would be towed from Italy to Portland Port, Dorset, to house 500 single males while they wait for their asylum claims to be processed.

This latest move comes as the government presses on with its Illegal Migration Bill in an attempt to crack down on the number of small boats crossing the Channel.

READ MORE: Government wins crunch vote on controversial small boats bill despite backbench backlash

Last month, it was also announced that the UK will help fund a new detention centre in France as part of a £479 million deal to stop migrants attempting to travel through the Channel.

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