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Bibby Stockholm barge: Councillor loses Hight Court case against Suella Braverman over housing of asylum seekers | UK News

A councillor has lost a High Court fight with Home Secretary Suella Braverman over the housing of asylum seekers on a barge.

Carralyn Parkes, a Labour councillor, wanted to challenge the lawfulness of the use of the Bibby Stockholm in Portland Harbour, Dorset.

Bibby Stockholm
Bibby Stockholm

But High Court judge Mr Justice Holgate ruled Mrs Parkes, a member of Portland Town Council and the Mayor of Portland, did not have an arguable case.

She said she is “deeply concerned” by the government’s “planned accommodation”, arguing the housing of asylum seekers on the barge is a “breach of planning control”.

Mrs Parkes, who is from Liverpool, also said there had not been “compliance” with environmental impact assessment duties and claimed Home Secretary Suella Braverman had not complied with duties under the 2010 Equality Act.

Lawyers representing Ms Braverman said Mrs Parkes’s challenge should be dismissed, arguing it was “out of time”, “without merit” and the judge should refuse to give permission for the challenge to proceed to a trial.

Government lawyers also said the local planning authority did not think planning permission was required and there was no “general principle” housing “non-British asylum seekers” together on a vessel was “unlawful” under a public sector equality duty.

Mrs Parkes is represented by law firm DPG (Deighton Pierce Glynn). Lawyers said afterwards they will consider their next steps.

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The first asylum seekers could be returned to the barge as soon as next week, after it was evacuated following the discovery of Legionella bacteria in the water supply.

The Home Office said all necessary tests have been completed on the vessel, which has been out of use since August.

Letters are being sent to asylum seekers confirming their re-embarkation and it is understood the first people could begin returning to the vessel on 19 October.

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