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Bristow tests support for opposition to hotel being used for asylum seekers

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Asylum seekers have arrived at the 3-star Great Northern Hotel, Peterborough, to be greeted – online and on TV – by a barrage of criticism from MP Paul Bristow.

In his latest bid to stop the hotel being used by government appointed contractor Serco to commodore scores of hotels across the country, he’s launched a survey to win support.

“But predictably – Labour, Lib Dems and Greens accuse me of spreading racial hatred, xenophobia, and divisive rhetoric,” he said today.

“What do you think? Do you agree with me?

“Fill in my survey. I promise I will take your views to ministers, Serco, local groups, and our council.”

Tory MP Paul Bristow fumes as Peterborough hotel agrees to house asylum seekers.

Putting aside the speed of the announcement (the city council was only told on Friday), recent reviews of the Great Northern Hotel on TripAdvisor suggest the hotel may not these days be the luxurious pad depicted by the MP.

https://twitter.com/paulbristow79/status/1591134256356810752

And one review – from October – even suggests staff knew weeks ago that a contract was under way for the hotel to agree a contract to house asylum seekers.

Asylum seekers have arrived at the 3-star Great Northern Hotel, Peterborough, to be greeted – online and on TV – by a barrage of criticism from MP Paul Bristow.

The guest recounts disagreements over a TV not working in his allocated room, or the room he was moved to after he complained, and how he came to sleep in his car for the night rather than his bedroom.

That disagreement aside (in fairness to the hotel there definitely appears two sides to this), the reviewer hinted that changes at the hotel were afoot.

Asylum seekers have arrived at the 3-star Great Northern Hotel, Peterborough, to be greeted – online and on TV – by a barrage of criticism from MP Paul Bristow.

“Two staff suggested that the hotel will close in a few weeks and they’re out of jobs,” he wrote.

Another review, from the month before, suggested that the hotel “is very old and run down.

“The room was very basic, unrenovated, window wide open because of the heat. Felt grimy and dilapidated.

“I couldn’t get out there quick enough in the morning. I’d leave this one for the backpackers.”

Another visitor, this one from August, offered this thought.

“The room was very dated, and not particularly clean.

“The folder containing information about the room was sticky and covered in crumbs, as well as being out of date and containing the wrong information regarding Wi-Fi.

“The bottom of the shower had to be rinsed out before I could use it.

 

Asylum seekers have arrived at the 3-star Great Northern Hotel, Peterborough, to be greeted – online and on TV – by a barrage of criticism from MP Paul Bristow.

“The room did not have any air conditioning, which considering the age of the building, is understandable – however no fans were provided to help combat the heat (I was visiting during the heat wave), which made for a very uncomfortable stay.

“To make matters worse, neither the shower nor taps seemed able to provide cold water, no matter how long they were kept running.

“But by far the worst part of my stay, is that I have been bitten by what I can only assume is a bed bug. Which suggests that the rooms and linen are not kept properly clean.

“If I could have given this hotel a negative rating, I would have. I certainly won’t be visiting again”.

https://twitter.com/paulbristow79/status/1591378164559020033

MP Paul Bristow insists though that “illegal immigrants are not entitled to luxury hotels”.

And he has used a hostile campaign on Twitter to ensure both the government and his constituents get his message.

Asylum seekers have arrived at the 3-star Great Northern Hotel, Peterborough, to be greeted – online and on TV – by a barrage of criticism from MP Paul Bristow.

On Saturday, he tweeted: “Last night, I was told the Great Northern could be used to host asylum seekers who have travelled here ILLEGALLY on small boats

“This is a historic, city-centre hotel. It’s the wrong choice. I oppose this and will do everything I can to ensure it’s back to being a hotel.”

Asylum seekers have arrived at the 3-star Great Northern Hotel, Peterborough, to be greeted – online and on TV – by a barrage of criticism from MP Paul Bristow.

On Sunday night he was on Sky News pummelling home his message.

“You have seen organized criminal gangs on other side of channel funneling people into our country in a way that is not manageable,” he said.

He said there were “thousands and thousands undocumented individuals are arriving on our shores- it is unsustainable for any country to manage”.

Asylum seekers have arrived at the 3-star Great Northern Hotel, Peterborough, to be greeted – online and on TV – by a barrage of criticism from MP Paul Bristow.

He claimed recent arrivals were outside the scope and intent of normal asylum seekers and the government need to “recognise and accept that and something desperately needs to be done”.

Mr Bristow called for the return of offshore processing for those making the crossing.

And although he accepted it may be “absolutely right” to house 80 or so individuals” in a hotel situation in my constituency but not in flagship hotel right in centre of Peterborough.

“Not least for their own protections but they are likely to be candidates for criminal exploitation right in the heart of our city and that needs to be considered too,” he said.

“Accommodating claimants shouldn’t invoke marble bathrooms,” says MP Paul Bristow, outside the Great Northern Hotel on Saturday.

On his Facebook page, the MP has launched a survey to find out what people think.

“Like so many who have contacted me – I do not think one of our flagship city centre hotels is the right place to accommodate 80 single men who have crossed the Channel in small boats,” he says.

“It’s not right for the young men – for our city centre – for taxpayers – and for the asylum seekers and the refugees already here being helped by local support services.

“Our city does a fine job welcoming newcomers. We are already supporting significantly more asylum seekers than the national average.”

He added: “But predictably – Labour, Lib Dems and Greens accuse me of spreading racial hatred, xenophobia, and divisive rhetoric.

“What do you think? Do you agree with me?

“Fill in my survey. I promise I will take your views to ministers, SERCO, local groups, and our council.

https://www.paulbristow.org.uk/campa…/great-northern-hotel

Peterborough City Council chief executive Matt Gladstone says he was informed by the Home Office on Friday that the Great Northern Hotel is likely to be used as part of the dispersal arrangements for asylum seekers” and that this might happen as early as this weekend.

“Peterborough is a welcoming and tolerant place and is currently offering refuge to more than 300 asylum seekers, more than any other city or town in the east of England.

“We have taken enforcement action today to prevent the change of use of the Great Northern Hotel to allow its use for further asylum seekers.

“Not just because our own resources to welcome and help genuine asylum seekers are stretched to the absolute limit, but because of the risks to strategic infrastructure of our city, and the UK.”

He added: “The Great Northern – a railway hotel – is sited at one of the country’s major rail interchanges so any issues of heightened tension or threats in the area could disrupt a major communication route for both people and freight.”

 

 

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