Hundreds of people moved out of Manston processing centre with North Thanet MP predicting ‘smooth’ running by weekend

Manston processing centre Photo Louis McLaren

Hundreds of people have now been moved out of Manston processing centre to hotels or immigration detention facilities with hundreds more due to leave this week.

By around 7pm last night (November 1) some 500 people had been moved out of the centre with more later that evening and further relocations today and this week, said North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale.

The centre had reached some 4000 people being held despite only having capacity for up to 1,600, partly due to 1,458 people detected making small boat Channel crossings over the weekend and a petrol bomb attack at the Dover migration site meaning some 700 people had to be moved immediately to Manston.

Overcrowding at the site had been exacerbated by a rise in small boat crossings. The system has also been hampered by huge backlogs in the Home Office processing asylum claims.

North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale

Sir Roger says he was called by Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick last night with the latest update and predicts the centre will be back to proper levels and running smoothly by this weekend.

He said: “Robert came down on Sunday and I spent three hours there (Manston) with him. He was clearly determined to do something about it in a manner that the Home Secretary was not.

“He commissioned a lot of hotel accommodation in a short time.

“We have got to get Manston back on an even keel and Robert Jenrick is determined to do that.”

Sir Roger said the situation will likely be helped by “rough weather” which will reduce crossings. Yesterday there were no detected small boats crossings.

The MP praised staff at the centre for managing under challenging conditions and said facilities are a good standard with heated marquees and roll mats for sleeping on. He added: “Staff are busting a gut and trying very hard to look after people well.”

Photo Louis McLaren

He did raise concern over a “small number” of children at the site, adding: “One kid was about three years old, that is what traffickers are doing.”

Sir Roger said Home Secretary Suella Braverman had suggested creating semi-permanent facilities at the site which he says he rejected “point blank.”

The MP added that claims the centre is “a hotbed of ill health” are untrue and that there have been four diphtheria cases with three people isolated at the centre and a fourth taken to hospital. There are, he said, people with bandaged legs due to burns from kneeling in small boats where salt water and diesel have mixed in the bottom to create a toxic mixture that burns the skin.

Diphtheria cases at the centre were confirmed earlier this month. There have also been reports of scabies and other sicknesses.

Sir Roger, who disputes the Home Secretary’s claim that she did not block hotel accommodation being booked for those being processed for asylum claims, says it is the case that some two-thirds of those held at Manston are young, Albanian men.

Photo Louis McLaren

Last week the Home Affairs Committee heard some 12,000 people from Albania had arrived in the UK via small boat crossings with 10,000 of those being single men.

Sir Roger said: “Albania is a member of the Council of Europe, it is a democracy and there is no war there and no reason for Albanians to come into the country without visas. These are economic migrants and they should be sent back to their country.

“The others (at the centre) are from Iran, Afghanistan and north African countries and are asylum seekers who have to be processed.”

Sir Roger, who says Grant Shapps had commissioned hotel space during his six days as Home Secretary, says he is confident Robert Jenrick will “get a handle” on the situation but there is action that needs to happen to alleviate the asylum seeker issue in the UK.

He said: “The speed which the Home Office is processing asylum claims is lamentable. There needs to be a lot more staff with the right training to process claims.”

Photo Louis McLaren

The MP also says spending almost £7million per day on hotel accommodation could be better diverted into building facilities or converting former MoD bases to ‘properly provided’ semi-permanent use for people waiting for their asylum claims to be dealt with.

He said moves by PM Rishi Sunak to build bridges with French president Emmanuel Macron were good to start dealing with the issue on an Anglo/French footing but a pan-global approach is needed across wider Europe to find solutions.

He dismissed the Home Office’s plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda for claim processing as “moonshine” saying it was not right and probably “not legal.”

Photo Swift Aerial Photography

A protest by campaigners, including SOAS Detainee Support members, has been organised to take place in Manston at 7pm. Protesters will meet at the Spitfire Museum car park.

SOAS says it believes “Manston is a concentration camp…interning people there illegally.”

The Home Office says: “Manston remains resourced and equipped to process migrants securely and we will provide alternative accommodation as soon as possible.

“We urge anyone who is thinking about leaving a safe country and risk their lives at the hands of vile people smugglers to seriously reconsider.

“Despite what they have been told, they will not be allowed to start a new life here.”

POA union assistant general secretary brands Manston asylum processing centre “A humanitarian crisis on British soil”

New report shows inspection of Manston centre in July found concerns including extended detention and failure to record trafficking victims

Protest vigil to be held demanding Manston asylum processing centre is ‘shut down’


  1. 500 removed, of the 4k already there and the extra 700 bussed up from Dover this week. Does Roger Gale think his constituents are really THAT thick they can’t do basic mathematics?

    Also, interesting to see lots of aerial photography from an area that drones are allegedly banned from flying in given the “no drone” placards around that area(airport/barracks)…

    They want the staff…but Tories continually malign CivServ workers and undermine their hard work…I wonder why there isn’t enough staff…We, as a country are still short some 10k+ HMRC bods too for Brexit checks when full checks finally come in…

    • Well, they keep voting for him & the Tories after 40 odd years, so yes-he probably must sit in his office laughing how people in one of the most deprived parts of the country keep voting for people who vote to punish them & reward millionaires & billionaires.

      • No idea how or why anybody, regardless of their thoughts on the crossings could in any way defend this government regarding this illegal atrocity of a facility or their policies, or how anybody deserves to be treated like this.

  2. Shows how deluded & faithful to his government he is. It wasn’t running smoothly at any point according to the July report & has only become worse since then. Despite his comments about the clown-show shambles of a government he has been a part of for the last several years, when push comes to shove he remains a part of it, rather than becoming an independent & here he is pretending that shifting a few hundred out will make any difference.

    Praised the hard working staff-is this the staff that couldn’t justify handcuffing & binding one person to take them to hospital? Couldn’t justify the force they have been using on them? Have refused to let them go to the toilet? Refused to let them shut the bathroom doors? Being denied to phone home to let their relatives know they are safe? Refusal of access to interpreters while being interviewed? Not being told what is happening when they are eventually moved etc?

    Boasting about outside tents having some blow fans in them as we are heading into what looks to be a very cold winter? Boasting about people sleeping on cardboard boxes & roll mats? Pathetic stuff you would expect in some third world dictatorship, but then Cruella is behaving like some hybrid of Vorster & Stalin.

    As the above poster says people aren’t stupid-it was at double the maximum capacity before the Dover attack meant there were four thousand in a building designed for at maximum 1,600 & since his government have no interest in or plan to stop the migrants coming it is going to be constantly well over capacity forever.

    It is only a matter of time with the illegal & crowded conditions they are being kept in that tensions are going flare like they did at Napier Barracks last year, we are already hearing that aside from the fights that people are crafting their own weapons. So the time for pretending that this place is remotely suitable has long passed Sir Roger. If this was anything other than a government run facility it would long ago have been shut down on health & safety grounds.

  3. It’s the Thanet pub quiz

    Question 1. When did the UK become the out station for the Albanian Social Services?

    2 Were the conditions in France better?

    If so they should go back there, if not they and others should stop whinging about the conditions here.

    By the way the winner of this quiz gets a free stay in a four star hotel.

    • They mostly aren’t being sent to four star hotels-despite the Daily Fail headlines, in reality it appears despite her lies that Cruella ignored the legal advice given to her & blocked hotels in Tory voting areas & then when Shapps came in & unblocked it, she returned days later & blocked it again-the main reason there are 3,500- 4,000 in a build designed for 1-1.6 thousand. The conditions there are not even worthy of a zero star hotel & are more akin to a concentration camp.

      Maybe you should direct your ire at the government who have provided a ferry service across, ignored all the warnings given to them & have done a rush job of setting up totally inadequate buildings that have between 3-4 times the number of people in them & cannot process claims in good time, so rather than being a processing centre where they are processed in a day or two as promised, instead it has become a disease ridden prison where they are locked up for weeks or months in horrendously overcrowded conditions.

      Maybe something as basic as actually getting enough interpreters in might have helped speed up the claims-rather than neither the interviewers or the asylum seekers having no real idea what the other is saying?

  4. So, instead of transferring them to a different country who has the room for all these people, once again, it’s our taxes that are paying for these people to go to hotels. They shouldn’t allow these people to come Into our country. We can’t afford to keep them, we have to take care of our own first, but our people are being sidetracked. And it’s NOT FARE.

    • It is spelled fair. A Fare is what you pay on public transport. In case you hadn’t noticed the Tories haven’t taken care of us at any point-just check out ‘Sir’ Roger & the other clowns voting records-they vote for tax breaks for the rich, freezes or cuts for the poor, to keep the railways, water companies, energy companies etc in the hands of the rich that fail miserably etc.

      So afraid the tired old Tabloid come over here taking all our jobs, getting handouts etc rhetoric doesn’t wash-this was going on a decade ago with Cameron.

    • Would you like to explain how our people are being sidetracked, using ONS statistics? I’ll wait, I’m sure others will too.

  5. Just to play devils advocate here, but……

    What if when they arrived on UK shores that there was nothing done for them, so no where to stay, no food, no vouchers, no clothing, no help whatsoever and they were left to fend for themselves. Do you think that might act as a deterrent?

    If they are economic migrants from Albania, perhaps this is what should happen to them.

    • You do know they are not allowed to work legally? So more of them will be working in the criminal world-being exploited in various ways such as women & likely underage children being forced into brothels to be raped multiple times per day, beaten etc. Working as drug couriers in county lines gangs. Working at illegal car washes for below minimum wage & with no protection like the guy running the Cliftonville car wash etc.

      222 children/young adults that arrived here have so far gone missing & have not been found-what do you think they are up to exactly? So your devils advocate is bloody stupid, like whatever garbage tabloid you get these ideas from.

    • “Nail squarely on the head” time!, Mervin.
      Most of them are not fleeing a war, you know that, I know that, so does our MP for Thanet North.

    • If you were playing devils advocate, you wouldn’t be coaching your posts in the language of the far right. “economic migrants” is straight out of the Patel/Braverman playbook. Words, constructed with great care to further other them; further than they already are othered for seeking a better life for them and family.

  6. It comes down to this 50% of the voters who voted for Boris to get brexit done had o idea of what they were thinking or knew what they were doing when they voted, and the other 50% did what they always do and voted like lemmings for the tory Party, look at the mess what have they done we brexit is still not finished Boris lied umpteen times about parties at no 10, gave backing to sleazy tory colleagues got fined by the police and ended up having to resign one good thing he did well during covid 19 but he is still under investigation over his lies and covid is also being investigated, then we have Liz 44 days and the economy completely trashed the money which is useful to assist us because Russia going to war with the Ukraine we have our duty to support them and please we are but the rest of the mini budget was a fiasco which caused all the issues we have with taxes going to raise and mortgages through the roof and before long they will be like they were in 2008 and all through their leadership the home secretaries have done nothing that has or will work to put an end to people putting their lives at risk to get here or to sort out those who have applied for asylum and still waiting 2years or more to be told what a mess they haven’t learnt a thing from the 9years they have been in charge beforehand 12 years and the previous lot were they any better I don’t think they were as bad because we were still in the EEC I voted but not for either Labour or Conservative.

  7. Gale has been part of this problem for many years, the total hypocrite.
    How about housing the migrants around ‘Gale Castle’, not even in Thanet. He may see things differently then.
    The man is a waste of space.
    As for using the RN and the RNLI to ferry them in, don’t get me started!

  8. And I reckon all of these people get to see a dentist and doctors when they want to but it almost impossible for a local person to do the same

    • You don’t “reckon” hard enough, mate.

      If that were the case, would you care to explain the current outbreaks of severe diseases up there? I’ll wait, with my popcorn…

  9. Apparently the reason why asylum processing has stalled is because in 2019, the target of getting 90% processed within 6 months was not being met. They were only able to process 25% of asylum seekers in the 6 month deadline.So the were only processing under 30% of the numbers required.
    The home office then removed the targets and output fell steeply.
    Why? God knows!
    The suspicion is that clunky, useless IT is the real culprit and that is Govt all over.
    Govt IT is shockingly bad, and managerialism makes it worse. I strongly suspect that managers can’t manage, the staff are demoralised, and two successive dreadful tyrants, have been installed as Home secretary who only know how to shout and harangue, instead of setting up sensible policies and using careful thought, to encourage and support harassed officials.A reign of terror might be appropriate in some circumstances, especially in some organisations I can think of,but not as a long term fix. Look what it did at Thanet DC? Did it work there?
    To all those who harp on and complain about invasions, floods and being swamped; answer me this.
    We are short of Doctors, nurses, care staff,Bus drivers, lorry drivers, fruit pickers, hospitality staff and decent IT technicians, so why are we not finding those who have turned up on our shores some work, so they can earn their corn and then ask them to leave with cash in the pockets when requested.
    Perhaps if Suella Braverman and the rest of the Tory party cancelled their subscriptions to the Mail,Express, Sun + Telegraph, we might all be a lot better off.Instead of shouting pointless and thoughtless throwaway lines we would be better served ,if they knuckled down and sorted out the problem.
    By the way where are these countries who have lots of space and money to house people you don’t like?

    • George Noakes,
      We need all these doctors, nurses, fruit pickers, lorry drivers et al because our population is increasing in large numbers.
      Where is this increase coming from I wonder? Well it’s not from the indigenous population that’s for definite !
      It is a self perpetuating problem. Simples – just like your side of this argument.

      • “Where is this increase coming from I wonder? Well it’s not from the indigenous population that’s for definite !”

        Funny, you should read ONS papers once in a while. Your hubris isn’t a cover for observable, objective reality, pal.

      • Ton, clearly you have not read my comments about pointless comments.
        Dog whistle politics are not going to solve this issue.
        We have labour shortages now and banging on about migrants is not going to make any difference.
        The post war boom in birth rates is as much to do with the problems as migration.
        Many of the baby boomers are retiring leaving a smaller workforce hence the shortages.
        This can be handled if we put our minds to it, instead of indulging in crypto racism.
        By the way when banging the keys on your keyboard spell my name correctly.It’s Nokes,not Noakes.

  10. 1. open an asylum centre in Calais
    2. allowed UK embassies once again to accept asylum applications
    3. offer work visas to overseas applications
    4. built prefabs to asylum seekers

    However, The government has rejected a recommendation from the Home Affairs Committee that the UK should set up centres in France to allow people to claim asylum, saying ‘we could not possibly consider claims from the very large numbers of individuals overseas who might like to come.’

  11. Surely the Manston facility is better than Calais Jungle camp ? It could be worse for them they could be on Sheppey!

  12. Instead of bringing them into our country they should divert the to another country that is big enough to cater for them.
    We don’t anymore, we need to take care of our own people first, not last.

    • 12 years the tories have been in power, and mooks keep voting for them. Did you vote for them, Steve? Because if so, you’re just as to blame for it as Roger Gale and the like.

      “they should divert the to another country that is big enough to cater for them.”

      Just over 6% of the uk is built on. There are some 600k+ empty properties in the uk.

      “We don’t anymore, we need to take care of our own people first, not last.”

      In a functioning democracy and not an ultra libertarian, right wing w$nk fantasy, we could do both. Now wouldn’t that be something to be proud of as a country.

  13. Conservative policy as stated by one of them on TV today.
    Vote Tories ,,,,why????
    Illegal immigrants needed to help growth of country,
    Pay them less than British born, because British won’t work for a pittance. This way the rich get more ££££.
    Higher taxes for the rest of us so life becomes a real big struggle, but the rich are ok because they can claim tax back through loopholes so pay little or no tax.
    So voting for Tories is a vote for modern day slavery. Also if other parts of the UK can stop government from dumping illegals on them why has Kent been left swamped with no choice???.
    It’s got to stop

    • “It’s got to stop”

      Chris, you’ll be so happy to learn it will only increase as climate change takes a proper hold and renders a large swathe of the equatorial zone uninhabitable…Climate migration will make war migration look like the worlds tiniest drop in the worlds biggest bucket…

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