Bibby Stockholm stocked with supplies as asylum seekers due to move back on board

  • Watch as food supplies loaded onto Bibby Stockholm

Food supplies have been taken aboard the Bibby Stockholm ahead of the expected arrival of asylum seekers to be housed aboard again.

It comes months after the vessel was evacuated following the discovery of Legionella bacteria in the water supply.

The Home Office has said all necessary tests have been completed on the floating vessel, which has been out of use since August.

Letters have been sent to asylum seekers confirming their re-embarkation, which will reportedly take place later this week.

On Tuesday 17 October, a supply van was seen arriving at Portland Port in Dorset, where the barge is moored, with food including fresh vegetables being brought on board.

Supplies were taken on board the Bibby Stockholm earlier this week Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA

A Home Office spokesperson said previously: “The Home Office has started to send letters to asylum seekers to confirm the re-embarkation of the Bibby Stockholm and notify them that they will be accommodated on board, following the vessel completing all necessary tests.

“The letters confirm the next steps for asylum seekers and reiterate that all asylum accommodation continues to be offered on a no-choice basis.

“Delivering alternative accommodation sites, such as the vessel, is more affordable for taxpayers and more manageable for communities, due to healthcare and catering facilities on site, 24/7 security and the purpose-built safe accommodation they provide.”

The move comes after local councillor Carralyn Parkes lost a High Court fight with Home Secretary Suella Braverman over the lawfulness of housing of asylum seekers on the barge.

Mrs Parkes, who is from Liverpool, argued housing asylum seekers on the barge was a “breach of planning control” and said there had not been “compliance” with environmental impact assessment duties.

She also argued Mrs Braverman had not complied with duties under the 2010 Equality Act.

Lawyers representing Mrs Braverman said the challenge was made to a decision taken in April to house “destitute asylum seekers on a specially adapted” barge.

They argued Mrs Parkes’s claim was “out of time”, “without merit”, and said the judge should refuse to give permission for the challenge to proceed to a trial.

Government lawyers said the local planning authority did not think planning permission was required.

They also argued there was no “general principle” that housing “non-British asylum seekers” together on a vessel was “unlawful” under a public sector equality duty.

Mr Justice Holgate had considered arguments at a High Court hearing in London on Tuesday and ruled in the Government’s favour the following day, saying Mrs Parkes did not have an arguable case.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...