Minister Swipes At James Cleverly Over His Opposition To Migrant Camp

Richard Holden was asked about the foreign secretary's "not in my backyard" approach.
Antonio Masiello via Getty Images

A Tory minister has made a thinly veiled swipe at James Cleverly after he opposed a migrant camp in his constituency.

Richard Holden said members of the government should “take responsibility” for the migrant crisis by accepting schemes in their constituencies.

He made the comments after foreign secretary Cleverly publicly opposed a new immigration detention centre in his Essex constituency.

Neighbouring MP and former home secretary Priti Patel is also challenging the plan to turn the RAF base into a migrant camp.

Asked about Cleverly’s opposition, transport minister Holden told Sky News: “Well, I think everybody has to take their responsibility as ministers.”

Pressed on whether that included the foreign secretary, Holden replied: “Of course. I’ve got an immigration removals centre which has been set up in my own constituency to help to remove illegal migrants from the UK.

“I think we have all got to take our share of that.”

Braintree council wants an injunction to challenge the plans to house up to 1,700 asylum seekers at the former airfield in Wethersfield.

The council argues that the site is unsuitable because of the lack of local services, the impact on the small local village and limited transport infrastructure.

The project is part of home secretary Suella Braverman’s attempts to end the use of asylum hotels at a cost of more than £6 million a day.

Other sites identified include the former Dambusters base at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire and a barge in Dorset.


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