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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Ben Glaze

Giant migrant barge arrives in UK waters as it prepares to host 500 asylum seekers

A giant barge to house hundreds of migrants arrived in British waters today.

The 305ft Bibby Stockholm was brought into Falmouth, Cornwall, for checks and refurbishment.

The 1970s-built, 10,659-ton mega-vessel with 222 cabins is expected to be towed to the Isle of Portland, Dorset, in the coming weeks where she will be berthed.

Once moored, she will become a temporary home for 500 migrants.

Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick said: “This Government has been clear that the use of expensive hotels to house the unprecedented number of asylum seekers crossing the Channel is unacceptable and must end; there are currently more than 51,000 asylum seekers in hotels costing the UK taxpayer £6million a day.

“This is why we will be using alternative accommodation options which are more manageable for communities, as our European neighbours are doing – including the use of barges to save the British taxpayer money.

Immigration Minster Robert Jenrick said housing migrants in hotels costs taxpayers £6million a day ( / MEGA)

“We are continuing to work closely with the councils and key partners to manage any impact in Falmouth and Portland and that appropriate arrangements are in place.”

Report suggest the Port of Portland is keen to prevent expected anti-migrant demonstrations from targeting cruise ship passengers due to land on the island in the coming weeks.

While the harbour usually advertises arrival and departure dates on its website of the 40 or more cruises set to dock at the port during the year, the timetable has been ditched, according to The Times.

It quoted a source involved in the planning as saying the dates were taken down because of concerns far-right activists could organise anti-migrant protests on days when thousands of tourists are due to arrive on cruise ships.

The vessel was brought into Falmouth this morning (Greg Martin)

A Portland Port spokesman said: "All cruise calls are proceeding as normal at Portland Port but arrivals and departures are subject to change, as they are at any port.

"Therefore, it is best to contact the cruise line involved for the most up-to-date information."

Should asylum seekers be accommodated on barges? Vote in our poll HERE to have your say.

More small boats carrying migrants across the English Channel arrived at Dover, Kent, on Bank Holiday Monday.

A group of people were pictured on the dockside after being rescued by a Border Force vessel.

On Saturday, 135 migrants arrived on three small inflatables boats, with another three boats bringing 134 migrants across the Strait on Sunday.

At least 6,500 migrants have arrived via the unauthorised route this year.

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