Newcastle asylum seeker hotel to close under Government plans to shut 50 by end of January

Asylum seekers will be moved out of a Newcastle hotel they are being housed in under new government plans to close them down across the country.

The hotel has not been publicly named.

The Home Office announced last month that it would be ending deals with more than 50 hotels around the country that currently house asylum seekers, promising that they would be closed by the end of January 2024.

Newcastle City Council has confirmed that the plans will see one such hotel in the city closed.

The use of hotels to house asylum seekers was heavily criticised last year, with a report by city councillors warning that residents had been left “vulnerable” during the Covid pandemic.

That review, which was subsequently sent to former Home Secretary Suella Braverman, revealed significant concerns over hotels being targeted by far right groups, a lack of basic protection against coronavirus, and the living conditions reminding torture victims of being in prison.

The Home Office recently put the cost of housing asylum seekers in hotels at £8m per day, while Government plans to deport some to Rwanda were last week deemed unlawful by the Supreme Court.

A council spokesperson said: “We are aware that one hotel housing asylum seekers in Newcastle will close as part of the Government’s plans to close 50 nationally. The responsibility for accommodating asylum seekers rests with the Home Office.

“On the whole, Newcastle residents have been very welcoming towards asylum seekers so we would urge Government to give local authorities the resources they need to help people settle into local communities.”

There are a documented 1700 asylum seekers in the city of Newcastle Upon Tyne, an increase from 1450 in 2021. The number of hotels used has also increased.