Home Business News Home Office to investigate death of an asylum seeker on the Bibby Stockholm barge

Home Office to investigate death of an asylum seeker on the Bibby Stockholm barge

by LLB political Reporter
12th Dec 23 2:08 pm

The Home Secretary James Cleverly has said the Home Office will “fully” investigate the death of an asylum seeker who lived on board the Bibby Stockholm barge.

On Tuesday morning police were called to the vessel in Portland, Dorset after a “sudden death” of an asylum seeker.

Cleverly told MPs in the House of Commons, “Tragically, there has been (a) death on the Bibby Stockholm barge. I’m sure that the thoughts of the whole House, like mine, are with those affected.

“The House will understand that at this stage I am uncomfortable getting into any more details. But we will of course investigate fully.”

Dorset Police said the force received “a report of a sudden death of a resident on the Bibby Stockholm” at 6.22am on Tuesday morning.

A spokesman said: “Officers are conducting inquiries into the circumstances of the incident.

“The coroner’s office has been notified of the death.”

Campaigners have hit out at the conditions on the Bibby Stockholm and have called for its closure.

The Refugee Council’s chief executive Enver Solomon said, “This is an appalling loss of life but tragically not surprising.

“We know from our work supporting men, women and children in the asylum system that many are deeply traumatised and feel isolated, unable to get the help they need. Some are so desperate they self-harm and feel suicidal.

“Nobody who comes to our country seeking asylum should be left without the support they need yet the system has more hostility than compassion built into it.

“It is imperative that an independent review is carried out into this death so that lessons are learned to avoid any further tragedies of this kind.

“A new approach that always sees the face behind the case and treats every individual person with the dignity and humanity they deserve is urgently needed.”

Ann Salter, from charity Freedom from Torture, said, “This latest tragedy is yet another reminder that the Government’s punitive anti-refugee policies are not only cruel but they cost lives.

“From the survivors I work with every day, I know that the cramped and dangerous conditions on the Bibby can be profoundly retraumatising for those who’ve survived torture and persecution, in addition to traumatic experiences they’ve suffered en route to the UK.

“Until this Government stops forcing refugees into unsafe and undignified accommodation, we will continue to see horrific stories of deaths, suicide attempts, serious health issues and unnecessary suffering.

“It’s time this Government ends the use of barges and barracks as asylum accommodation once and for all.

“Those seeking protection need to be housed in our communities, where they can properly access the support they need to recover and rebuild their lives.”

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