Immigration minister claims ‘the UK is essentially full’

  • Immigration minister Robert Jenrick has claimed "the UK is essentially full"

  • His remarks came in response to an MP expressing concern about the housing of asylum seekers in their constituency

  • It came hours after the High Court ruled the government's Rwanda scheme is lawful

  • Read more about Jenrick's remarks below

Robert Jenrick told MPs that it was incredibly difficult to find accommodation for asylum seekers. (

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick has claimed "the UK is essentially full" as he faced questions on the issue of asylum seekers being housed in hotels.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday, Jenrick admitted it was "extremely hard" to find new places for asylum seekers to stay amid record numbers of people arriving in the UK in small boats crossing the Channel.

His comments came after Conservative MP Marco Longhi asked him to reconsider “the proposal for siting up to 144 illegal immigrants” in a hotel in Dudley North, his constituency.

Jenrick responded: “As a result of the good work undertaken by the Home Office in recent weeks to ensure that Manston, the site in Kent, is operating appropriately, we have now been able to implement some simple criteria, including risk to public order or disorder when choosing new hotels, and if there is compelling evidence in that regard then it should be taken into account by the Home Office, but there are no easy choices in this matter."

A view of temporary buildings under construction which are used to temporarily house people thought to migrants at the Manston immigration short-term holding facility located at the former Defence Fire Training and Development Centre in Thanet, Kent. Picture date: Friday December 2, 2022. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
A man died of diphtheria at Manston immigration detention centre in November. (Getty Images)

The housing of asylum seekers has been a prominent issues in recent months after conditions at Manston immigration detention centre were branded "inhumane"

Outbreaks of diseases including diphtheria and scabies were reported at the overcrowded site, and a man at the site died after contracting diphtheria at the end of November.

More than 40,000 people have arrived via small boats this year.

Read more: The UK vows to clear backlog of asylum seekers and to return Albanians

Jenrick also said elsewhere he wanted to make sure accommodation for asylum seekers was "decent yet not luxurious".

His comments came hours after the High Court ruled in the government's favour on the Rwanda policy for asylum seekers, judging the policy as lawful.

The scheme will see some asylum seekers that do not arrive to the UK via established routes, like those who arrive to the UK by crossing the channel in small boats, deported to Rwanda for processing.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 13: British Secretary of State for the Home Department Suella Braverman leaves after attending the weekly cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street in London, United Kingdom on December 13, 2022. (Photo by Rasid Necati Aslim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
The High Court has ruled that the government's Rwanda deportation scheme is lawful. (Getty Images)

Home secretary Suella Braverman welcomed the verdict and said she was "committed" to making sure the scheme works.

“Our ground-breaking migration partnership with Rwanda will provide individuals relocated with support to build new lives there, while disrupting the business model of people smuggling gangs putting lives at risk through dangerous and illegal small boat crossings," said Braverman.

Read more: Man, aged 19, charged in UK after Channel migrant boat tragedy

However, Amnesty International has described the decision as "bitterly disappointing".

A group of people thought to be migrants adrift in a dinghy before being rescued off the coast of Folkestone, Kent, as small boat incidents in the Channel continue. Picture date: Saturday November 20, 2021. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
Over 40,000 people have crossed the channel in the UK so far this year. (Getty Images)

“Shamefully, even in the wake of last week’s tragic deaths in the channel, the government refuses to acknowledge that the more it invests in cruelty, punishment and deterrence, the more it is putting desperate people who have no safe options to arrive in the UK at greater risk," said Steve Valdez-Symonds, the charity’s refugee and migrant rights director.

“Suella Braverman must stop playing politics with people’s lives and get down to the serious task of fixing the disastrously dysfunctional asylum system and policies that she recklessly adopted from her predecessor.”

Watch: PM welcomes High Court decision on ‘lawful’ Rwanda flights