The government is to use two more barges to house an extra thousand asylum seekers, Rishi Sunak has announced.
The first barge to hold asylum seekers will dock in Portland in the next two weeks, the prime minister told a news conference in Kent as he provided an update on his “stop the boats plan”.
He added that two more ships have been secured today, while thousands of extra spaces for migrants have also been found in hotels by making people share rooms.
Mr Sunak said: “I say to those migrants who are objecting, this is more than fair. If you’re coming here illegally claiming sanctuary from death, torture or persecution, then you should be willing to share a taxpayer funded hotel room in central London.
“To reduce pressures on local communities we will also house people on ships. The first will arrive in Portland in the next fortnight and we’ve secured another two today.”
Mr Sunak insisted his “stop the boats plan” is “starting to work”, with the numbers making the Channel crossing down by around a fifth since last year.
He said the returns deal with Albania had led to 1,800 people being sent back, and was having a deterrent effect.