The refusal of CHANNEL migrants to share hotel rooms is “unreasonable,” the border minister said.
Robert Jenrick warned that the arrival of small boats “risks exploiting the sympathy” of the British public.
Government forecasts showed the cost of housing asylum seekers in new camps, hotels and deportations could reach £6billion over the next two years.
Last week, around 40 migrants staying at the £150-a-night Comfort Inn in Pimlico, central London, camped outside the hotel to protest the accommodation for four to a room.
But Mr Jenrick hit back: “Those migrants who had said themselves they were destitute, they had no housing, we had offered them a safe bed with food and lodging in a good hotel.”
“Yes, some of them had to share with other people – these are single, adult males. I don’t think that’s unreasonable.”
He told the BBC: “Some people said that wasn’t good enough and they wanted their own bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms and the Home Office took the perfectly reasonable view that we have the taxpayer to deal with here.” If you’re really penniless you would of course accept that.”
He also pledged “never to put the interests of migrants ahead of those of the British public”.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is due to visit border officials in Kent today before updating on progress on his pledge to “stop the boats” by the next election.
He will welcome the new repatriation deal signed with Moldova and say there is still work to be done to fulfill his promise.