Suella Braverman is under pressure to answer questions about worsening conditions at a migrant processing centre in Kent said to be overcrowded with the home secretary facing demands from Labour and a senior Tory MP to address the Commons over the situation at the site in Manston.
Hundreds of people were moved to the site on Sunday after a fire attack at a migrant facility in Dover which saw a petrol bomb thrown at the centre.
The situation at a migrant facility in Kent is a “breach of humane conditions”, according to an MP for the area. Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale said the situation at the facility in Manston is “wholly unacceptable”, and suggested it may have been allowed to happen “deliberately”.
Sir Roger Gale, Conservative MP for North Thanet, told Sky News on Monday there are now more than 4,000 people at the facility in Manston.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “There are simply far too many people and this situation should never have been allowed to develop, and I’m not sure that it hasn’t almost been developed deliberately.”
Sir Roger said he was told that the Home Office was finding it very difficult to secure hotel accommodation, adding that he now understands that this was a policy issue and a decision was taken not to book additional hotel space – and that he would be putting forward an urgent question on the matter.
Asked whether Suella Braverman is the right person to handle this situation, Sir Roger said: “I’m not seeking to point fingers at the moment but I do believe whoever is responsible, and that is either the previous home secretary or this one, has to be held to account, because a bad decision was taken and it’s led to what I would regard as a breach of humane conditions.”
Chief inspector of prisons Charlie Taylor said the Home Office and contractors “need to get a grip” on the facility in Manston.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We were absolutely clear in our report that’s coming out tomorrow that the Home Office and contractors need to get a grip, they need to speed up the processing of migrants, they need to make suitable provisions so people can be moved off site as quickly as possible and housed in humane and decent conditions.”
Mr Taylor added: “The facilities are not set up for people to be staying. It’s not a residential facility. It’s a short-term holding facility which is supposed to process people through.
“So the danger is if people are spending long periods of time in what are very cramped conditions without suitable accommodation that’s just not acceptable.”
Labour's shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said there had been a big increase in the backlog of cases. Speaking to the BBC, she called for decision making to be "much more efficient" and the removal of "extra bureaucratic delays".