Mansfield MP and council leader Ben Bradley says he 'totally understands the feelings' of residents who chanted 'out' outside a hotel being used to house asylum seekers. A video circulating on social media shows a group of around a dozen people protesting outside the Midland Hotel in Mansfield, with a man demanding to be let in.
In the clip, originally posted on the Telegram page of far-right activist Tommy Robinson, the group begins clapping and chanting "out" after they are refused entry into the hotel. Mr Bradley, who has previously raised concerns over the "fairness" of housing asylum seekers at the hotel, said while "no-one wants to see" what happened, he "totally" understood the feelings of the protestors.
"Obviously nobody wants to see those kinds of scenes really, I think it exemplifies the feeling of a lot of residents," the Conservative MP and Nottinghamshire County Council leader told Nottinghamshire Live. "I think residents massively feel the unfairness of the situation, the idea that people are arriving illegally and being put up in hotels, having their bills paid and food provided and all the rest of it when British citizens are struggling.
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"I've spoken a lot about the challenges around that hotel, I warned Serco and the Home Office that it wasn't a good place to put people for a variety of reasons, including the fact there would be a lot of strong feelings from local residents about it.
"Whilst no-one wants to see what could be intimidation or those kinds of protests, I totally understand the feelings of residents in why they've got to take that kind of action. It's something we've been talking about sorting out for a long time that we've not managed to do it yet."
He said he understood it took place on Friday, February 3, and was not given prior warning. Nottinghamshire Police and the Home Office have been contacted for comment.
Prior to the chanting, a man can be heard in the video saying: "He's a b***** foreigner in there with a mask on not even answering questions." Another man then demands someone inside to open the door, saying: "we want you out."
Responding to the clip, many Twitter users condemned the behaviour of the individuals involved. "And people wonder why I’m embarrassed to be English," said one user, with another adding: "What has happened to the England I grew up in….tolerant open and kind"
One user simply wrote: "Disgusting." The Midland Hotel declined to comment.
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