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MP refuses to ‘sweep under carpet’ names of hotels housing asylum seekers

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Paul Bristow dismissed a request that he and other Conservative MPs should stop naming hotels which are housing asylum seekers.

The Peterborough MP tweeted tonight: “The Guardian and Labour Party seem to think the solution to smart hotels being used to house those coming on small boats is to keep it a secret.

“Local people can see what is happening. Transparency is key. Burying our heads in the sand is not the answer.”

The Refugee Council has asked the Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, to urge MPs not to name the hotels.

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The council’s chief executive, Enver Solomon, said a recent firebomb attack showed that asylum seekers could be targeted by violent extremists.

But it cut no ice with Mr Bristow who spent part of the weekend filming himself out the Great Northern Hotel, Peterborough, which has agreed to accept asylum seekers.

He said: “It has been Home Office practice to not publicly name hotels where people are staying in order to guard their safety and privacy, but we know that increasingly MPs are naming specific premises when they raise this issue.

“It is of course right that MPs should be able to raise any constituency issue in parliament, but this can be done without identifying a specific hotel.

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“I would very much appreciate it if you could urgently communicate with MPs on this matter, asking that they refrain from publicly identifying hotels that are housing people seeking asylum.”

But it cut no ice with Mr Bristow who spent part of the weekend filming himself out the Great Northern Hotel, Peterborough, which has agreed to accept asylum seekers.

“This change of use requires planning permission – so it would be announced by the local council any way,” he said.

102 ensuite bedrooms at the 3-star Great Northern Hotel, Peterborough, snapped up en bloc for asylum seekers.

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“This is the main station opposite the hotel – it is change of use is obvious. If I ignored it like Labour suggest I would be a laughingstock.”

He added: “Many of my constituents will have booked meals, weddings, and other activities at the hotel – I would be neglecting my duty to ignore this.

“This will impact on employment as there are questions on what will happen to existing staff – again I would be neglecting my duty to ignore this.”

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Mr Bristow said: “This is a huge issue. It impacts on policing, council services, health stakeholders. Transparency is key.

“The idea that this should swept under carpet and ignored as Labour suggest is an insult to local people.”

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