Manston unit is close to breaking law by becoming an ‘unofficial detention centre’, Grant Shapps warns
- Grant Shapps revealed concerns about the migrant camp at Manston, Kent
- The former Home Secretary said it risked becoming ‘unofficial detention centre’
- Two weeks ago the camp was 4,000 migrants – despite its 1,600 capacity
A processing base for Channel migrants risked becoming an ‘unofficial detention centre’, the Business Secretary admitted yesterday.
The remarks by Grant Shapps – who was fleetingly in charge of the Home Office last month – revealed for the first time the severity of government concerns about conditions at Manston in Kent.
He told Sky News: ‘We’ve got to be careful not to break the law ourselves by detaining people… it’s not a detention centre, but a processing centre at Manston.
‘The advice I had was very clear – that we were in danger of doing that if we weren’t acting.’
Grant Shapps said the Manston immigration holding facility risked becoming an ‘unofficial detention centre’
He told Sky News: ‘it’s not a detention centre, but a processing centre at Manston’ (pictured)
Mr Shapps later told the BBC: ‘I was very keen to ensure that we… maintained ourselves within the law, had some very clear advice on that and made a number of changes – both moving people out but also the running of the centre itself to ensure that it wasn’t a detention centre.
‘The Home Secretary [Suella Braverman] subsequently has continued to make the same changes to make sure that those numbers are brought down.’
Concerns emerged about Manston two weeks ago when it was housing 4,000 migrants – including some who had been there for weeks despite it being designed as a holding facility for one or two days.
Numbers have now fallen closer to the normal 1,600 capacity, mainly due to a week with no arrivals thanks to poor sea conditions.
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