Priti Patel is facing a backlash for comments on asylum seekers heading to the UK.
She claimed that migrants who come to the UK are “asylum shopping”, which has caused a huge amount of offence.
Patel said: “The problem that we have with illegal migration .and we should be very clear about this, is that the majority of people are not fleeing persecution, they are asylum shopping and that is why they should be claiming asylum in other countries.”
“They’re making very long journeys through other countries where they could claim asylum,” she added.
Her comments come as the Government is spending £4.7 million a day housing asylum seekers in hotels – almost four times the figure it previously told MPs, the Home Office has said.
On Wednesday the Home Affairs Committee heard the total was £1.2 million, but a Government clarification on Thursday made clear this figure relates to Afghan refugees.
An additional £3.5 million a day is being spent, the Government said, in accommodating asylum seekers from elsewhere.
Home secretary Priti Patel said the policy is “thoroughly inadequate”, adding: “We do not want people in hotels.”
She also said the Government and local authorities are “absolutely struggling” to move Afghan refugees into more suitable, permanent accommodation as the country does not have sufficient infrastructure.