In a debate in Parliament yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 15th November) Blackpool South MP Scott Benton stressed that the continued housing of asylum seekers in the resort’s Metropole Hotel is completely inappropriate and the seafront Hotel needs to be listed on the next batch of Hotel closures. He added that the pressure on public serves is immense.
In his question to the new Home Secretary James Cleverly, the now Independent MP Benton said, ‘I welcome the steady progress made to close asylum hotels but I am extremely disappointed that the Metropole in Blackpool is yet to be vacated. The Hotel is located in the poorest ward in the entire country bar none and the pressure on my local community and public services is absolutely immense. Is the Home Secretary able to give me assurance that in the next batch of Hotel closures, socio-economic factors will be taken into account and the Metropole will finally be closed?’
The new Home Secretary, MP James Cleverly (pictured below) responded by saying, ‘I listened very carefully to the points he (MP Scott Benton) makes, which reinforces the issue that I think is key. It is very easy for people to be generous of spirit when someone else is bearing the burden. And the people in his (MP Scott Benton’s) constituency in the immediate neighbourhood of the Metropole are not wealthy people. They are the ones disproportionately bearing the brunt of illegal migration which is why we are absolutely committed to help them and other people like them around the country by getting a grip of this evil trade and stopping the boats.’