Home Office contractors ‘told about legionella on day migrants boarded barge’

Home Office contractors have been informed about traces of legionella micro organism discovered on the Bibby Stockholm barge on the identical day asylum seekers have been transferred on to the vessel, Dorset Council has stated.

The discovery ultimately led to the removing on Friday of all 39 individuals who had boarded the floating lodging docked in Portland on Monday.

The council has now stated it knowledgeable the “responsible organisations”, barge operators CTM and Landry & Kling, concerning the preliminary take a look at outcomes on Monday, the identical day it acquired them.

A Home Office official was then informed concerning the discovery on Tuesday, the council stated, however authorities sources stated ministers didn’t know concerning the presence of the micro organism till Thursday.

A spokesperson stated: “To be clear, it was not Dorset Council’s responsibility to inform the Home Office – that responsibility sat with CTM and Landry & King, the companies contracted by the Home Office to operate the barge.”

Dorset Council has stated a Home Office official was informed concerning the discovery on Tuesday


The Home Office didn’t touch upon the assertion, first reported by The Telegraph. CTM and Landry & Kling have additionally been contacted for remark.

The UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) was alerted on Wednesday night to considerations about potential well being dangers and steering was sought by the council.

The full timeline stays unclear and the council has not but stated whether or not it informed contractors earlier than or after the switch of migrants on to the barge.

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick was understood to have informed the operators that they must be extra clear in future.

It comes after 509 extra individuals crossed the English Channel in 10 boats on Saturday, with one journey ensuing within the deaths of six individuals when a vessel sank off the coast of France.

A cupboard minister defended the federal government’s immigration technique on Sunday amid renewed strain, together with from Tory MPs, over its “stop the boats” pledge following the deadly incident.

At least six individuals died and no less than 58 – lots of them Afghans – have been rescued after a ship received into issue off the coast of Sangatte on Saturday.

According to the accounts of survivors, round 65 individuals had initially boarded the overloaded vessel earlier than a passing ship noticed it sinking and raised the alarm at round 4.20am.

Wales Secretary David TC Davis admitted the crossings would “continue to be a problem”, however insisted some boats have been being stopped. “We have stopped a lot,” he informed Sky News.

Rishi Sunak has made tackling the crossings certainly one of 5 key priorities for his management and requested individuals to evaluate him on his administration of the issue.

It comes as the Telegraph quoted a authorities memo, drafted for prime civil servants within the Home Office, as saying the migrant disaster is predicted to last as long as 5 extra years.

The inner doc reportedly stated that the Home Office is planning on utilizing disused RAF bases and a jail to deal with migrants for between three and 5 years.

The authorities was accused of permitting its “small boats week” of linked bulletins on immigration to descend into farce following the Bibby Stockholm evacuation.

Senior Conservative backbencher David Davis stated the “startling incompetence” of the Home Office had been laid naked after the evacuation.

However, ministers intend to push on with plans to rent extra barges to deal with asylum seekers, in addition to scholar halls and former workplace blocks, The Telegraph reported.

The individuals who had been on the Bibby Stockholm, which had been billed as a less expensive different to costly inns for these awaiting the result of their claims, at the moment are again being housed in different lodging.

The Home Office has stated the well being and welfare of asylum seekers “remains of the utmost priority” and that the evacuation occurred as a precautionary measure, with all protocol and recommendation adopted.

Mr Davies on Sunday defended the federal government’s dealing with of the setback, saying its evacuations from the vessel “actually demonstrates how we’re putting the safety of people first”.

Asked whether or not the incident factors to a wider failure inside the Home Office, he informed Times Radio: “No, it doesn’t. It doesn’t at all. The checks were being made.”

But shadow training secretary Bridget Phillipson stated a “better, fairer system” is required to deal with the backlog of asylum functions and minimize the necessity for short-term lodging.

She informed the identical programme that prosecutions of individuals smugglers are “falling” beneath the present authorities.

Conservative MP Tim Loughton stated the federal government’s “small boats week” of linked bulletins on immigration was a “hostage to fortune”.

He informed Times Radio: “I think it was probably not a good idea to have a small boats week. It was a hostage to fortune and clearly it depends on how many people are risking their lives coming across the Channel, which is dependent on the weather and how people smugglers are operating.”

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