Pressure Mounts On Suella Braverman As Priti Patel Denies She Is To Blame For Migrant Centre Crisis

The home secretary has been accused of acting unlawfully by allowing numbers at the Manston processing centre to soar.
Suella Braverman succeeded Priti Patel as home secretary.
Suella Braverman succeeded Priti Patel as home secretary.
Press Association

Pressure is mounting on Suella Braverman after Priti Patel denied she stopped booking hotel places for asylum seekers when she was home secretary.

The home secretary has come under fire over the worsening situation at the Manston migrant processing centre in Kent.

Braverman has been accused of ignoring legal advice that migrants were being kept at the centre for unlawfully long periods.

It has also been reported that diseases such as scabies and diptheria are rife among those housed at the centre as a result of overcrowding.

Tory MP Roger Gale this morning accused the Home Office of “deliberately” not booking additional hotel rooms for the migrants to stay in while their asylum claims are processed.

He said the aim of the policy was to deter more migrants from trying to enter the UK illegally by crossing the English Channel in small boats.

Gale, the MP for Thanet North, told Radio Four’s Today programme: “I was told that the Home Office was finding it very difficult to secure hotel accommodation. I now understand that this was a policy issue and that a decision was taken not to book additional hotel space.

“Now that’s like driving a car down a motorway, seeing the motorway clear ahead, then there’s a car crash and then suddenly there’s a five mile tailback. The car crash was the decision not to book more hotel space.”

He said he did not know whether the decision was originally taken by Braverman or Patel, who resigned as home secretary last month.

But sources close to Patel have insisted she continued to sign off on new hotel places until she quit - and suggested it would have been illegal for her not to do so.

One ally told HuffPost UK: “She was always clear that putting asylum seekers in hotels was never desirable, but when she needed to sign them off she did so as she didn’t want to break our statutory duties.”

Braverman will make her first public comments on the row when she makes a statement to MPs later this afternoon.

Separately, the home secretary is also under fire after she admitted sending government documents to her private email address on six separate occasions.

Braverman resigned from the role when Liz Truss was prime minister after it emerged she broke the ministerial code by sharing sensitive government information with a Tory MP from her own email account.

But Rishi Sunak sparked anger by re-appointing her home secretary just six days later when he succeeded Truss as prime minister.


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