As the first migrants arrive to board the Bibby Stockholm barge, here are some images of the inside of the boat. It has been reported that 500 migrants will reside on the barge located off Portland, Dorset, but there have been some safety concerns and challenges leading up to the embarkment.
As the first asylum seekers arrived to live at the Bibby Stockholm barge, 20 others did not after facing legal challenges, the charity Care4Calais said.
Several asylum seekers did not board as their transfers were “cancelled” by lawyers. Chief executive Steve Smith said: “None of the asylum seekers we are supporting have gone to the Bibby Stockholm today as legal representatives have had their transfers cancelled.
“Amongst our clients are people who are disabled, who have survived torture and modern slavery and who have had traumatic experiences at sea. To house any human being in a ‘quasi floating prison’ like the Bibby Stockholm is inhumane. To try and do so with this group of people is unbelievably cruel. Even just receiving the notices is causing them a great deal of anxiety.”
Cheryl Avery, the Home Office’s director for asylum accommodation, said there have been “some minor legal challenges” but would not comment on the detail of them, adding accommodation is offered on a “no choice” basis.
Meanwhile, a group of 15 arrived at the accommodation vessel moored in Portland Port, Dorset, on 7 August, with more people expected later in the week. Suella Braverman’s plans to house 500 male asylum seekers on the huge barge had been initially delayed after fire safety concerns raised in July.
The images show the small bedrooms with bunkbeds, a TV room and also a basic gym. According to PA, most of the 222 bedrooms have twin bunk beds, with cupboard space, a desk, en suite bathroom, heating and windows which open.
There are also 20 larger rooms which would sleep four people, and two rooms housing six people.