Home Office facing judicial review over migrant overcrowding at Manston, immigration minister says | Politics News


The Home Office is facing a judicial review over the conditions at the migrant Manston processing centre, the immigration minister has told Sky News.

Robert Jenrick said the legal action has begun after reports of severe overcrowding at the centre in Kent, which is meant to hold 1,600 people but has been housing about 4,000 migrants, according to MPs.

He told The Take with Sophy Ridge programme: “I believe we have received the initial contact for a judicial review.

“That’s not unusual, this is a highly litigious area of policy but of course, as the minister responsible I want to make sure everything we do is conducted appropriately and within the law.”

Mr Jenrick said he could not reveal who had brought the judicial review as it was legally sensitive.

The immigration minister, who was only appointed last week by Rishi Sunak, said he has been working with Home Secretary Suella Braverman to reduce the numbers of people and also the length of time they are staying at Manston – which is only meant to be 24 hours but has been much longer in some cases.

He added: “So the week I’ve been in post I’ve tried to work night and day to ensure the Manston site is not just legally compliant but is a humane and compassionate place where we welcome those migrants, treat them appropriately and then they leave quickly to alternative accommodation.

“I’m pleased to say that this evening that’s the path we’re on, the numbers at Manston have fallen very substantially since the weekend when we became aware of the specific issues and got involved so directly.

“I think we’re on a path now where within a matter of days, assuming we don’t see very large numbers of migrants coming across the Channel – I don’t think that’s going to happen as we have good forecasts of the weather and other intelligence from northern France.

“I expect Manston will be returned to a well-functioning and legally compliant site very rapidly.”

Mr Jenrick denied he had taken over from Mrs Braverman in dealing with Manston after she was accused of failing to listen to legal advice that said migrants from Manston needed to be sent to hotels after being processed within a day of arriving.

She denied this in parliament on Tuesday.

“We’ve been working extremely closely together, we’ve procured more hotels, extra support, brilliant officers from Border Force supported by contractors and armed forces,” he added.


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