Asylum seekers ‘abandoned’ at London station

Asylum seekers were reportedly left at London’s Victoria station without accommodation after being taken out of the processing centre at Manston.

The group of 11 men were driven to the capital from Kent on Tuesday as part of a larger group, according to the Guardian.

Volunteers from the Under One Sky homelessness charity, who provided them with food and clothes, told the newspaper many were in flip-flops and without winter coats.

“They were stressed, disturbed and completely disoriented,” said volunteer Danial Abbas.

“They were also very hungry.”

A British Transport Police spokesman told the newspaper staff responded to reports of a group of asylum seekers looking for assistance at Victoria station at 10.33pm on Tuesday.

“Officers engaged and liaised with charity partners, rail staff and government colleagues to help them find accommodation for the evening,” he said.

Hundreds of people are thought to have been moved out of the Manston processing centre – a disused airfield site near Ramsgate – amid concerns it had become dangerously overcrowded.

Raising a point of order in the Commons on Wednesday, Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael said: “On Monday … the Home Secretary said ‘What I have refused to do is to prematurely release … thousands of people into local communities without having anywhere for them to stay’.

“It is reported today that last night exactly that happened. A bus full of detainees was taken from Manston to Victoria Station, where they were then left abandoned and apparently one was left to sleep rough overnight.

“That surely contradicts what the Home Secretary told the House. She has something to answer. It would be very useful for the House to know whether or not she intends to come here and explain herself or whether yet again she has to be brought.”

The Home Office has been contacted for comment.