Labour Mayor quizzed by Nick Ferrari on 'abhorrent' housing conditions migrants endure

9 June 2023, 10:46 | Updated: 9 June 2023, 11:05

Nick quizzes Labour Mayor of Newham over housing refugees on barges

By Anna Fox

Stark opposition has been voiced against the government's plans to house refugees on a barge in the Royal Docks, as housing stock across the UK dwindles.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, Labour Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz emphasised how refugee services are “stretched”.

Continuing, the Labour Mayor said: “Our voluntary sector partners are busting a gut to support these families”.

She added: “We don’t have the housing stock” to accommodate refugees.

Their conversation arose as a plan by the government to house asylum seekers in a "cruise ship" style giant barge next to London City Airport.

Rishi Sunak revealed earlier in the week that two more giant vessels will be used for migrant accommodation and they have since been confirmed to be passenger liners.

They will house up to 1,000 migrants between them but the ships’ names remain unknown, according to the Mail.

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Ms. Fiaz stated how the government needs to think “more intelligently” and “provide the resources for better suitable accommodation”.

READ MORE: Plans for asylum seeker barge near Sadiq Khan's office at London's Royal Docks are sunk

When quizzed by Nick as to a possible solution to the issue, the Mayor of Newham said: “It’s not just about accommodation it’s also about the impact on service provision.

“It begs the question of why the government is looking at vessels as a means to accommodate”.

Nick replied by saying: “You are very good at the opposition but with respect, you're not coming through with suggestions”.

The Royal Docks management authority (RodMA), the Mayor of London's office, Newham Council and London City Airport have all formally expressed strong opposition.

Read more: Heathrow workers announce strike action for almost every weekend from mid-June to the end of August

The Home Office declined to comment on the plan.

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