The Home Office was compelled to pause evictions of refugees from hotels after Robert Jenrick’s resignation as immigration minister, and it has also reduced the seven-day eviction deadline to 28 days. This followed complaints from local councils that rough sleeping had hugely increased.

However, according to a spokesperson for the Local Government Association,

“The pace and scale of the Home Office’s decision-making continues to mean that large numbers of people will continue to turn to councils for support.”

After the tragic death of Leonard Farruku, a 27year-old Albanian asylum seeker, on the Bibby Stockholm, more than 60 charities demanded the closure of the barge, which currently holds around 300 refugees.

The signatories of the letter wrote:

“For those on board, the Bibby Stockholm feels like a prison. It is cramped, restrictive and segregated. The barge is no place to accommodate people who have fled violence, persecution, and torture, many of whom are traumatised and isolated. They are unable to get the help and specialist support they need. Their mental health has deteriorated and some have felt suicidal.”

 The Home Office has confirmed that it is costing £22.5m to operate the barge.

And a row has erupted over Rishi Sunak’s claim that the asylum seeker backlog has been cleared. It transpires that this asylum seeker backlog is only a “legacy”, merely including claims made before 28th June 2022. 4,500 cases are still unresolved. and the around 112,000 cases the Home Office says have been processed include 35,000 where the asylum claim has been withdrawn or discontinued. The latest figures show that 51,469 people were granted asylum in 2023.

Immigration barristers say that “rushed” asylum refusals may partly have led to 20% increase in appeals, which currently stand at 31,000.

Meanwhile, a further 94,000 asylum applications made since June 2022, affecting around 120,000 refugees, are still waiting to be determined.

There is a helpful analysis of the figures by the BBC at: