Thousands of asylum seekers could be housed in the countryside to spread numbers across the UK. The announcement came after at least one Tory MP complained of migrants being “dumped on” particular constituencies.
Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick has announced asylum claimants will be accommodated in a “much broader range of local authorities than has been seen in the past”.
He told the House of Commons: “Historically, the issue was centred on cities including Stoke-on-Trent.
“We are now seeking to procure accommodation more broadly in smaller cities, towns and indeed in some cases in rural areas.”
Defending the plan, Mr Jenrick added this would ensure “greater fairness as to how, as a country, we tackle” the issue.
Ahead of his statement, Stoke-on-Trent North MP Jonathan Gullis, complained about people being “dumped on” his constituency.
He asked: “When is the Minister going to tell [private contractor] Serco Stoke-on-Trent has done its bit and to no more use it? And if he won’t, why won’t he?”
But new, “broader” immigration plans have also been the subject of criticism, including from former Brexit Party MEP Martin Daubney, who suggested asylum seekers should instead be sent to “leafy home shires” where local voters do not back stricter controls on illegal immigration.”
Government figures show that more than 40,000 migrants have already this year made the illegal Channel crossing to enter the UK.This figure was below 30,000 for the whole of 2021, and below 10,000 the year before.
Half of the roughly 120,000 asylum seekers in England and Wales are housed in just 25 local authority areas, according to the Telegraph.
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