Home Office source denies Home Secretary Suella Braverman ignored legal advice on Manston migrant centre | Politics News


A Home Office source has told me the situation at Manston has been a “ticking time bomb” and that the set up there was not designed for people to spend more than a short period of time there. 

The site has been designed to accommodate people once they have been taken off boats and processed through Western Jet Foil, where they are given basic care.

Those people are then only meant to stay a maximum of 24 to 48 hours before being sent to temporary accommodation.

“The conditions are austere but acceptable, but for people staying much longer than that, the conditions are unpleasant.”

The source told me that Suella Braverman failed to sign off accommodation and that decision not to take on extra accommodation is going to be potentially very difficult for the home secretary.

Two Home Office sources told me that the decision is likely to face a judicial review because the law requires that people are held in these conditions for 24 to 48 hours only, when in reality people are being held there for weeks at a time.

The question for the home secretary will be whether she ignored official advice and did not sign off on accommodation when she should have done.

Two sources tell me that they think this is what has happened. However, another Home Office source has told me this is “categorically untrue”.

The Home Office figure added: “We do not comment on legal advice – but we are clear she has not ignored any legal advice and has taken steps to find alternative accommodation for those in Manston.”

A fourth source told me that the home secretary had been reluctant to sign off certain accommodation, but this was because she, alongside local MPs and councillors, deemed it inappropriate for particular areas of the country.

“Many people were being put into hotels in what are typically tourist areas, which in turn prompted kick back from local areas and politicians because of concerns around damaging local economies by taking tourist business away.”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Video from inside migrant centre

I’m told that Grant Shapps, who served as home secretary for just a few days between Ms Braverman’s resignation and reappointment, and Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick have signed off hotels in recent days to alleviate the overcrowding- with about 4,000 people currently being housed in a facility for 1,500.

One source told me the overcrowding could be resolved in a week or so, depending on the weather and the number of people trying to make the crossing.

Read more: Why is the home secretary facing questions over migration centres?

As for the home secretary, it is far from clear whether she can survive this scandal and while the prime minister has publicly said he has full confidence in her, one ally suggested that Rishi Sunak might be comfortable in letting Ms Braverman fall on her sword over this.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

‘Breach of humane conditions’ at Manston

Some colleagues are circling around the home secretary following her controversial re-appointment.

One former cabinet minister who sat around the top table with her told me: “She’s not up to it. She relies on others out of government to tell her what to do. She’s not good enough.”

Another former minister told me: “He should never have re-appointed her in the first place.”

However, others have come forward to back her. Lord Frost, the former Brexit minister, said on Monday, Ms Braverman “should now be allowed to get on with the job” and said the “continued pursuit of the home sec over micro-details by Labour & some of the media looks unreasonable, even obsessional”.

How do we solve the immigration dilemma?


Source link