Had my debate on the Novotel today. The Court case is also being held today on whether or not the temporary injunction blocking the use of Ipswich hotels for asylum seekers will be upheld. Fingers crossed.
I honestly don’t know what the short-term outcome of all of this will be but I gave my speech this morning some real welly. I will continue to be very outspoken on this issue. Both on the use of the Novotel and also the issue of illegal immigration more broadly.
I’m very concerned at the way in which some of my constituents who were employees at the Novotel have been treated. I’m also very concerned about the impact of the Novotel being used for this purpose on the local economy.
I will always put the interests of my constituents first. Myself and my office are not there to support those who have decided to enter our country illegally from another safe European country.
Ipswich has a proud record of welcoming genuine refugees from around the world who are fleeing persecution. We should be proud of this. We’re a welcoming Town but what’s going on at the Novotel is wrong on many different levels.
The Minister in response to my speech has agreed to look again at the matter. He also said the Government will be escalating efforts to curb the crossings. Let’s see. I will continue to work with colleagues to hold the Government’s feet to the fire on this issue.