Manston can house 1,500 people but is currently trying to accommodate for 4,000 people, MP tells LBC

31 October 2022, 15:47

Sir Roger Gale speaks about Manston asylum processing centre.

Madeleine Wilson

By Madeleine Wilson

Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale speaks to Shelagh Fogarty about the "unpleasant" state of the Manston asylum processing centre after the Home Secretary has been put in the hot seat for avoiding legal advice to improve its conditions.

The recently reinstated Home Secretary was told at least three weeks ago that migrants were being kept in overcrowded centres in Manston, Kent, for unlawful lengths of time.

The alleged legal breach piles even more pressure on the embattled Ms Braverman, who was only brought back to the job this week, a few days after leaving because of a data breach.

Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale told Shelagh Fogarty although he can't fault the services provided at Manston Immigration Centre, the problem is that people are staying for long amounts of time and therefore the ability to sanitise the rooms is becoming increasingly difficult, labelling it "unpleasant".

Ms Braverman was allegedly told that she needed to resolve the breach quickly by rehousing the asylum seekers elsewhere.

Roger said: "This facility operated perfectly from January through to about 5 weeks ago when the Home Secretary adopted to the policy of not ordering more hotel accommodation or alternative accommodation."

He later added: "The problem is that we're dealing with accommodation designed to hold 1,500 people and there are 4,000 people."

Home Secretary under mounting pressure over security lapses and asylum problems

Migrants are not supposed to be kept in the processing centres for more than 24 hours under UK laws, while they undergo initial checks. Some 2,600 migrants have been kept for more than four weeks in the centres - only designed to house 1,600.

Roger told Shelagh: "There is a dismal failure on the part of the home office to process asylum claims swiftly and efficiently."

He then continued to say there needs to be a "special provision" for Albanians so that they can "swiftly" return to their country, adding that in his view "there's no reason why they should be here at all".

READ MORE: Braverman has ‘taken her eye off the ball and should resign’ as over-crowding and disease plague migrant centre, says Manston workers' rep

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