Luxury hotel stays for Channel migrants set to be scrapped ahead of election — after a drop in crossings


Phasing out higher-end accommodation

The UK Home Office is set to announce the phasing out of luxury four and five-star hotels for Channel migrants, as ministers prepare for next year's election. This decision comes after a drop in crossings this year, freeing up resources from swing seats.

Reduced number of crossings

The number of migrants crossing the Channel has significantly decreased compared to last year. While the government is currently spending over £8 million a day housing migrants, the total number of crossings this year is 26,116, compared to 37,575 at the same point last year.

Contracts with hotel groups not renewed

As a result of the decrease in crossings, the government will not be renewing contracts with hotel groups, allowing them to expire. Instead, larger ex-military sites will be prepared to house asylum seekers. Efforts to clear the asylum backlog have also contributed to fewer rooms being needed than initially expected.

Impact on key election seats

Several of the hotels used to house migrants are situated in key seats that the Conservative Party needs to hold in next year's election. Members of Parliament (MPs) representing these areas have faced criticism from locals who have seen their hotels block-booked for migrants. Some of the hotels returning to public use include the four-star Novotel Hotel in Ipswich and the three-star Westone Manor Hotel in Northampton.

Announcement of closures in January

Borders Minister Robert Jenrick is expected to announce the first 50 hotel closures for migrants in January, according to a statement to be made to MPs today. This decision includes the three-star Bay Majestic Hotel in Eastbourne, which has a narrow Conservative majority.