Bibby Stockholm: First asylum seekers board housing barge in Dorset

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Desk report: The first small group of asylum seekers has boarded the controversial Bibby Stockholm housing barge after a series of delays over safety concerns.

Up to 500 men will eventually live on the vessel in Dorset while they await the outcome of asylum applications.

Some human rights groups have called the scheme “inhumane”, but ministers insist it is safe and will save money.

The Home Office said 15 people had successfully got on to the vessel, but a group of about 20 refused to board.

Asked about the refusal, the department’s director for asylum accommodation Cheryl Avery said she could not go into details “of the legal proceedings for each individual”.

“But we are continuing to bring people on board… later this week and then over the coming weeks as well,” she added.

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