The asylum seekers were offered rooms at a 3 star hotel taken over by the government for the purpose, and were told they would be deported if they didn’t accept it by Saturday lunchtime.
Earlier today Council Leader Adam Hug wrote to Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, for an explanation as to why the asylum seekers were sleeping outside.
The refugees were offered rooms for four people for two weeks, but refused them saying they were too cramped. They were bussed to Westminster after turning down another offer at a hotel in Whitechapel.
By 2.00pm on Friday some agreed to stay at the hotel saying that they couldn’t return to their home country.
Meanwhile advocacy groups gathered outside the property advising the refugees of their rights and giving out cards telling them what to do if arrested and interviewed by the police.
At around 12.30pm five people entered the hotel to negotiate on behalf of the group and were told if they weren’t registered living somewhere by Saturday, they would be deported.
Some migrants, with the help of members of the public, tried to stage a protest by occupying the road. A sign saying “Home Office making people homeless” was draped on the side of the hotel.
A spokesperson from the Home Office said that it couldn’t comment on individual hotel operations but that asylum seekers had access to support including a 24hr hotline, although such help could be withdrawn if they refused “no choice” accommodation.
“Despite the number of people arriving in the UK reaching record levels, we continue to provide accommodation – at a cost of £6million a day – for asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute to meet our legal obligation.
“The accommodation offered to asylum seekers by providers, on a no choice basis, is of a decent standard and meets all legal and contractual requirements.”