AN MP has slammed the Home Office after unaccompanied asylum-seeking children were sent to a hotel in the city.

Peter Kyle said government ministers should “hang their heads in shame” after he was given less than two hours notice that 60 young refuges were to be housed in a Hove hotel.

The Labour MP for Hove and Portslade also said that the Home Office could not confirm the legal status of the children or who was responsible for safeguarding, security and accountability.


It is reported that "at least one" of the children being housed in the hotel has tested positive for Covid-19.

In a statement, Mr Kyle said: “I have two priorities. First is to ensure the dignity and welfare of the children, all aged 16 or 15, is upheld along with their legal rights.

“Some of them will have experienced highly traumatic situations in the past and will need care. And all have legal rights which must be maintained until their asylum claim is settled.

“Secondly, I’m working hard to ensure that neighbourhood peace and security is maintained, and the values of our community are respected in a way I would expect of every visitor to our community.

“I have explained these I have explained these priorities to the Home Office official onsite and those responsible for managing the hotel.

“They cannot be left in doubt about the strength of my feelings on this.”

In June this year, the Home Secretary and Education Secretary announced several changes to the National Transfer Scheme (NTS).

Under NTS, unaccompanied children seeking asylum are placed with local authorities around the country to ensure they are spread out evenly.

The changes included a touted "rota" scheme, which aimed to proved local authorities with a clearer indication as to the number of children to expect and when to except them.

This scheme is not mandatory for local authorities and yesterday, Brighton and Hove City Council said it was given less than 24-hours’ notice before the children arrived.

Mr Kyle added: “We were not consulted before this happened.

“I’ve heard that several other local authorities refused but in our case we only found out about it after the deal had been done. Had we been consulted - had the Home Office acted in a functional, competent way - all of these issues would have been resolved before the children arrived.

“I will be contacting Priti Patel to express my extreme dismay at her actions in this regard. Some of the children have already been moved to more appropriate accommodation elsewhere.

“Several new children have also arrived. Most will only be here for a short time but the Home Office are unable to tell me how long this arrangement will last.”

Mr Kyle says he has visited the hotel and will continue to “play a constructive role in the resolving these issues.”

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