Bibby Stockholm: Barge to house asylum seekers in Portland costs taxpayers £22m

The Bibby Stockholm barge in Portland. Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

More than £22million of taxpayers’ money is being spent on the Bibby Stockholm asylum accommodation barge, the Home Office’s top official has said.

The vessel being used to house asylum seekers is moored in Portland Port, Dorset.

In a letter to MPs, Home Office permanent secretary Sir Matthew Rycroft said the “vessel accommodation services” portion of the contract with CTM, which relates to the barge, was £22,450,772.

He said the assessment of whether the vessel offered value for money is currently "being updated".

Home Office permanent secretary Sir Matthew Rycroft set out the figures in a letter to MPs Credit: House of Commons/PA

The figure emerged days after an asylum seeker was found dead on the vessel.

South Dorset MP Richard Drax described the news as a “tragedy born of an impossible situation” and said the Home Office had told him that the man was thought to have taken his own life.

The cost of the accommodation was set out in a letter to the Home Affairs Committee’s chairwoman Dame Diana Johnson.

Immigration delivery minister Tom Pursglove said the cost was “undoubtedly” cheaper than housing asylum seekers in hotels.

Dame Diana said she was “just flabbergasted that a value-for-money assessment was not carried out at the time that the contract was let”.

Mr Pursglove told her it was being “updated” and added: “This is undoubtedly a more cost-effective way of providing accommodation.”

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