Keir Starmer slams 'chaotic' plan for huge asylum seeker centre in North Yorkshire village

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he does not support the Government’s "chaotic" plans to set up an immigration processing centre in a North Yorkshire village.

The Government has announced highly controversial plans to house around 1,500 people at the old RAF base in Linton-on-Ouse in the coming months.

But people living in the village, who were not consulted about the plans, have objected and Hambleton District Council is preparing to mount a legal challenge.

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During a visit to Wakefield today, Sir Keir said: “The Government is in complete chaos on this.

Keir Starmer criticised plans for the new asylum seeker processing centre in Linton-on-Ouse, during a visit to West Yorkshire today

“To call it a plan is too grand: they don’t know what they are doing, they haven’t thought it through and they haven’t even had the decency to consult local people about it, which tells you just about everything you need to know about the state of chaos they are in.”

He added: “I think local people should be listened to on this. If the Government had any decency they would have spoken to and consulted local people in the first place.

“This is not really a plan, it is a chaotic, behind-the-curve mess yet again from the Government, which is characteristic of pretty well everything they do.”

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It comes after Kevin Hollinrake, the Conservative MP representing Thirsk and Malton, urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel to withdraw the plans.

He has said the old RAF base is "not a secure facility" and having such a large number of young men being housed in Linton-on-Ouse is "completely wrong”.

But the Prime Minister has said the Government is prepared for a legal challenge and the new centre will be an integral part of a wider plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

The Rwanda deal will see the east African nation receive asylum seekers deemed by the UK to be inadmissible, having arrived “illegally” under new immigration rules.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The asylum reception centre at Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire, will help end our reliance on expensive hotels which are costing the taxpayer £4.7m a day.

“We are consulting with local stakeholders about the use of the site.

“The New Plan for Immigration will fix this broken asylum system, allowing us to support those in genuine need while preventing abuse of the system and deterring illegal entry to the UK.”