Taxpayers £1.5m a day bill for 10,000 EMPTY hotel rooms
Taxpayers are paying £1.5million a day for 10,000 empty beds after Rishi Sunak overruled plans to shut down surplus migrant accommodation, it's been claimed.
The Home Office in October drew up proposals to shut 100 hotels by January, but the Prime Minister ordered the target to be reduced to 50 because of concerns a spike in crossings in the summer could force them to reopen, reports say.
An insider at the department said that the move 'exposed' Mr Sunak's 'lack of faith' in the Rwanda policy getting off the ground.
'No 10 had a low expectation of Rwanda working so they wanted to maintain hotel space and held us back from closing more,' the source told The Times.
But an official spokesman denied the claims, saying: 'Those claims are not true, hotel numbers have always been determined exclusively by Home Office need.
'The Prime Minister has not intervened in those decisions. It is right that we're making progress in closing hotels. The first 50 are due to be closed by the end of this month and there will be more in the coming months.'
The Times reported being informed that there are 10,000 hotel beds going unused, costing taxpayers about £1.5m a day.
That is in addition to 3,500 beds that the Home Office keeps empty at the Manston processing centre in Kent to avoid the system being overwhelmed by a sudden surge in crossings.
The stalled Rwanda scheme comes with a £290 million bill but no asylum seekers have been relocated so far as it was mired in legal challenges.