Controversial plan to house asylum seekers in Linton-on-Ouse won't go ahead says Defence Secretary

Linton on Ouse protest
Residents have held numerous protests

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has confirmed that plans for an asylum seekers' reception centre in a North Yorkshire village have been scrapped.

Mr Wallace told ITV Political Correspondent Harry Horton that he had 'withdrawn the offer' to the Home Office but added he would have to do 'something else' with the site, a former RAF base in Linton-on-Ouse.

When told that Rishi Sunak had announced he would oppose the site Mr Wallace, who is backing Liz Truss to become the next Conservative leader, said: "He didn't oppose it when he was in Government so it's a new surprise but because he's not in government he won't know whats been going on.

"I've withdrawn the offer to the Home Office for that site, it's been with them for a number of months, I have obligations to do something else with that site and there are other sites to be made available to the Home office if they want to take it up."

When asked by Harry Horton: "So to be clear you've decided that that reception centre for asylum seekers won't be going ahead?"

He repeated: "I have withdrawn that offer to the Home Office it was one of five sites we offered at the time when Rishi Sunak was in government and he was certainly supportive of it at the time but isn't now, interesting enough, that's been withdrawn."

Mr Wallace also added that he did not regret his decision not to stand in the leadership contest, saying he loved the job he did as Defence Secretary and loved living in the North of England.

"It wasn't for me - I didn't want it enough."

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