Suella Braverman’s plan to deal with asylum seekers on the Bibby Stockholm barge could face a legal problem as firefighters accused ministers of a “callous disregard” for the safety of these onboard.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has despatched a “pre-action protocol letter” to the house secretary outlining its issues over safety aboard the vessel moored in Dorset’s Portland Port.
The union beforehand branded the large barge, initially designed for about 200 folks however modified to deal with 500 migrants, a “potential demise lure”.
The primary asylum seekers positioned on board Bibby Stockholm earlier this month have been eliminated days later after assessments revealed Legionella – the micro organism which might trigger the doubtless deadly Legionnaires’ illness.
The FBU is demanding a response to its legal letter by Thursday.
Common secretary Matt Wrack mentioned: “The Fire Brigades Union is the skilled voice of firefighters, and we now have an obligation to make our voices heard on issues of fire safety, particularly when politicians let our members and the broader public down. Now we have been sounding the alarm concerning the Bibby Stockholm for weeks.
“It’s disgraceful that the Dwelling Secretary just isn’t even prepared to fulfill us to debate these issues. All through this episode, the Government has displayed a scarcity of transparency and a callous disregard for the safety of each firefighters and people who are on account of be housed on the barge.
“Fires don’t discriminate based mostly on immigration standing, and neither can fire safety laws.
“Everybody, irrespective of the place they’re from, has the fitting to dwell in protected and respectable lodging, and firefighters have the fitting to anticipate that they won’t be recklessly endangered.
“That is an industrial problem for the Fire Brigades Union, as our members are those anticipated to answer any fire aboard the Bibby Stockholm. Now we have subsequently determined to maneuver in the direction of a legal problem on this matter.”
The FBU has raised issues about entry to fire exits and potential overcrowding on the vessel.
The Bibby Stockholm is one of a number of websites, which additionally embody former navy bases, ministers need to use to deal with migrants as they await asylum selections in an effort to chop the fee of placing them up in motels and deter entries into the UK by way of unauthorised means.
Dwelling Workplace knowledge this week confirmed Channel crossings topped 19,000 for the 12 months up to now, regardless of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s pledge that he’ll “cease the boats”.
The Dwelling Workplace has been approached for remark.