News has broken that 136 asylum seekers are due to be transferred onto the Bibby Stockholm on October 19, now that the legionella has been dealt with (allegedly). The barge will have been empty for 68 days and is rumoured to have been costing £300,00 per week while empty. The Home Office signed up for an eighteen month contract for the aged barge for an eye-watering £1.6bn.
Unsurprisingly, many government watchers have been keen to understand how this extortionate price was agreed. The result of a freedom of information request is shown in the tweet below:
Informative, huh? Apparently, the Home Office deems it to be not in the public interest to have any transparency on this matter. Same old, same old…
What is going on? Might the promised Labour Covid Corruption Commissioner, looking into corruption in PPE procurement, take this on as well? One hopes so.
The money is one scandal. The bigger one is, of course, the dehumanising treatment of asylum seekers.
The Mayor of Portland, Carralyn Parkes, sought permission in a private capacity to take Braverman and the Home Office to court, questioning the legality of the Home Office plan without planning permission or the consultation, let alone consent, of local people.
“Mrs Parkes argued that the housing of asylum seekers on the barge was a “breach of planning control” and that there had not been “compliance” with environmental impact assessment duties.”The Independent
She was refused and ordered to pay costs.