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Lib Dems urge Home Secretary to close Penally Asylum Camp

THE Liberal Democrats have written to the Home Secretary Priti Patel urging her to rehouse the asylum seekers who continue to be housed in, what has been almost universally accepted as, unsuitable accommodation.

The letter signed by six Welsh Liberal Democrat Peers and Lib Dem spokesperson for devolved affairs Wendy Chamberlain MP has today been delivered to the Home Office.

The Home Secretary and the UK Government are under renewed pressure to close Penally Camp; publish the assessments which were undertaken there to assess the sites suitability; and rehouse those staying there in proper fit for human habitation accommodation. Pressure has intensified following revelations that food donated by local residents as a Christmas Meal was confiscated by guards and that staff working there have been forced into signing a non-disclosure agreements preventing them from speaking out about the conditions people there both live and work in.

Lord Roger Roberts said: “This accommodation is completely unsuitable. It has been abandoned as a training venue by the MOD for very good reason. To house anyone here, let alone frightened and vulnerable individuals, during the winter months and during a pandemic is completely unacceptable.

“My colleagues and I are asking for the government to set out urgently the timescales for the transfer of asylum seekers out of Penally Camp to more suitable accommodation.

Wendy Chamberlain MP added: “I am deeply concerned by the conditions which exist both at Penally in Pembrokeshire and in Napier barracks in Kent. We should all be very worried by reports that the camps fail to meet basic standard of health and hygiene – and the news of Covid-19 outbreaks raises further serious questions over the Home Office’s actions.

“It’s therefore vital that the Home Office publish its assessments on the use of the camps – including its reports on Infection Controls for Covid-19 as well Equality Impact, as soon as possible. There a huge unanswered questions about how this callous treatment of asylum seekers has been allowed to take place.”

David Woolfall, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons


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