Many thanks to those who have contacted me about Asylum accommodation conditions in particular the Napier and Penally Barracks.
As you may be aware, the Government provides safe, warm and secure accommodation at Napier Barracks, which has previously accommodated army personnel in the same conditions. The Home Office has worked extremely closely with Public Health England to minimise risks of coronavirus and this track record will be robustly defended in court. It is important to consider that the Home Office has not lost or conceded the case.
The Home Office is required by law to provide asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute with accommodation, paid for by the taxpayer. Since March, the number of people within the asylum system has risen. This is due to the fact that the Government temporarily ceased the usual policy of ending asylum support for those whose claims have been granted or refused. This was necessary to help stop the spread of coronavirus and ensure they are able to follow social distancing guidelines. It has been necessary for the Government to act quickly to source contingency accommodation to create additional capacity and ensure obligations are met in full.
After looking into this, I have been reassured that those accommodated at these sites have access to appropriate medical care and have access to the 24/7 Migrant Help helpline to raise any issues.
I will continue to monitor this situation very carefully.