Asylum-Seeking Migrants Will Be Housed in Hotels in Glasgow Until 2021

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JULY 01: A general view of the Hallmark hotel where asylum seekers hav
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Asylum seeking migrants in Glasgow, Scotland, will be put up in hotels at taxpayers’ expense until 2021 due to overcrowding in standard accommodations, leaked documents have revealed.

During the Chinese coronavirus lockdown the housing and social care contracting company Mears began moving asylum-seeking migrants into hotels across North Britain’s second city. It is estimated that around 400 migrants are being housed in hotels by Mears, under a scheme that is being funded by the British government.

A Mears email document uncovered by the BBC read: “Based on the demand and lack of procurement we will still be in hotels by the end of this year.”

Responding to the revelation, a spokesman for Mears said: “We currently do not have sufficient accommodation to move all of the people accommodated in hotels out.”

“The major constraint is the availability of suitable vacant accommodation… Mears will continue to do all in its power to end the use of hotels and ensure everyone has a home of their own,” the company added.

In June, a Sudanese migrant went on a stabbing spree inside his Glasgow hotel accommodation, injuring six people, including a police officer, David Whyte, who was critically injured.

The migrant, Badreddin Abadlla Adam, was being housed in a Mears-managed hotel at the time of the attack. Abadlla Adam had reportedly complained that he was “very hungry”, and that migrants in the hotel “were fed three times a day but people were complaining at getting the same spaghetti and macaroni cheese all the time. It wasn’t culturally appropriate for them.”

Migrants at the hotel were also said to be displeased with the “limited wifi”.

The Sudanese migrant was shot dead by police during the stabbing spree. Despite coronavirus restrictions on public gatherings, hundreds turned up to mourn the attacker at his funeral in July.

Pro-migrant groups have also complained about what they term “hotel detention”, demanding that asylum seekers be given more “suitable” accommodations, despite migrants receiving taxpayer-funded meals, laundry, wifi, and other services for free in the hotels.

Alison Phipps, the Unesco chair Professor at Glasgow University, told The National: “Nothing about living in hotels fits with the work of integrating and living as normalised a life as possible. That rented accommodation was in place before the hasty move into hotel detention but now is not, simply highlights the dreadful procurement processes in place.”

Shafiq Mohammed, from the Asylum Seeker Housing Project, said “kettling so many vulnerable people together was a recipe for disaster”, adding that it puts “very vulnerable people at grave risk”.

Scottish National Party (SNP) Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said that she has “grave concerns” about the supposed lack of support given to migrants.

“People who have come to Scotland because they needed a place of safety should be supported, particularly at this time of crisis, and not bear the brunt of the UK’s failed asylum policies,” Campbell declared.

According to a report from the National Audit Office (NAO), there are currently some 48,000 migrants being housed at the expense of the British taxpayer. Alleged asylum seekers are also provided free access to the National Health Service (NHS), free dental and eyesight care, education for their children, and a weekly allowance £37.75 to £39.60 per week.

The NAO report estimated that the British taxpayer will be forced to spend at least £4 billion to fund migrant support programmes by the end of the decade.

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka


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