A Conservative MP has been widely criticised after he revealed the name of a hotel where asylum seekers will be housed live on TV.
Jonathan Gullis, the MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, claimed migrants were “coming to the UK for no reason whatsoever” as he announced where his constituents could find them.
The revelation came just 48 hours after a fire-bomb attack on an immigration centre in Kent which saw one site having to be evacuated.
Discussing the matter on Channel 4, Gullis said: “The Home Secretary’s made it clear that she has sought to seek hotel accommodation. But let’s be quite frank, the British people aren’t happy with this,” he said.
“This is a totally unacceptable situation to people, particularly in places like Stoke on Trent, which is the fifth largest contributor to the asylum dispersal scheme in his country, where we already have over 800 people in our city.”
He went on to name a hotel where a further 80 people would be housed and claimed that the local police and council were opposed.
Far-right groups have targeted hotels used to house asylum seekers in the past, and on Saturday morning a man threw petrol bombs attached to fireworks at a centre for processing migrants in Dover.
Liberal Democrats Home Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael told the Independent the MP’s comments were part of a “determined and orchestrated campaign to demonise asylum seekers”.
“Jonathan Gullis should apologise but he probably won’t. If he had any decency he would not have said it in the first place,” Carmichael said.
“These things are not said by accident. He is part of a determined and orchestrated campaign to demonise asylum seekers ultimately for no better reason than that they are ‘different’.
“It is not the Jonathan Gullises or Suella Bravermans of this world that throw the bombs or attack people in the street but the views that they articulate embolden others who might.”
Carmichael added: “We need a reasoned and rational debate around these issues. One which is based in facts and not overblown rhetoric.
“This morning we should be talking about the failure of the Conservatives to process more than 4 per cent of asylum applications last year.
“We should be talking about Suella Braverman’s incompetence, and not her attention-seeking and hate-filled rhetoric.”
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