Kinnock demands answers over Bibby Stockholm evacuation
Shadow immigration minister Stephen Kinnock has written to his opposite number demanding answers to a series of questions about the “extremely troubling matter” of the Bibby Stockholm evacuation.
The Aberavon MP has asked Robert Jenrick whether the Home Office knew about the risk of Legionella bacteria being present before migrants were moved on to the barge docked in Dorse and whether every person who boarded has since had a health check.
“This whole sorry affair is yet another shambolic example of the chaos, incompetence and confusion that have come to define the way in which this Government is dealing with the asylum crisis that it has created,” he wrote .
“Indeed, even the Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party has now admitted that the asylum system has ‘failed’ due to 13 years of neglect and failure,” Mr Kinnock said in a letter to the immigration minister posted on Twitter.
“Why should the British public trust you to deal effectively with this mess when every measure you announce either fails to deliver, never gets off the ground, or just makes everything worse?”
Senior Conservative MP David Davis said the Bibby Stockholm evacuation has revealed the “startling incompetence of the Home Office itself”.
The former Brexit secretary said even without the emergence of Legionella bacteria, the barge accommodation would not serve as a solution to the Channel crossings.
He told BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme: “The primary thing that’s been revealed has been the startling incompetence of the Home Office itself.
“Rather famously many years ago, John Reid, when he took over as home secretary, talked about it being not fit for purpose, and I’m afraid you’re seeing that here.
“It’s really, really hard to understand how, at all layers, this could not be caught early”.
Mr Davis added: “Even working properly, the Bibby barge would only take effectively one day’s arrivals. So it’s not a solution to the problem and all of this is going to go on until the Home Office is able to process these arrivals more quickly.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.