MP Craig Mackinlay urges Government to withdraw asylum-seeker accommodation plans for The Glenwood Hotel

MP Craig Mackinlay has asked for plan to use The Glenwood Hotel to be withdrawn

South Thanet Craig Mackinlay MP has called on the Government to withdraw plans to use The Glenwood Hotel in Cliftonville for asylum seeker accommodation.

The South Thanet MP made the request to Immigration Minister, Robert Jenrick, earlier this week during a Ministerial Statement to update MPs on ‘illegal’ migration.

The 2 star hotel in Edgar Road has 21 rooms.

MP Craig Mackinlay

Mr Mackinlay said: “I’m very unhappy that The Glenwood Hotel in Cliftonville is being readied to house migrants from September 20.

“East Kent is already bearing the brunt of the great burden caused by the continuing influx of migrants crossing the Channel in boats.

“That’s why I have asked the Immigration Minister, Robert Jenrick, to withdraw the use of Glenwood as contingency accommodation. The Minister has agreed to look into this and I’m continuing to monitor the situation closely.”

Mr Jenrick said he understood “the unique pressures that Kent faces” and would look into the matter.

Robert Jenrick

During his update to Parliament on Tuesday (September 5) Mr Jenrick also said: “We have made significant improvements at Manston since last year, and it continues to operate as an effective site for security, health and initial asylum checks, despite the pressure of the summer months.

“We have worked to ensure that when migrants depart Manston they are now heading to cheaper and more appropriate accommodation, by rolling out room sharing and delivering our large accommodation sites.

“Those sites are undoubtedly in the national interest, but the Government continue to listen to the concerns of local communities and Members of this House, and throughout the summer further engagement has taken place to ensure that those sites are delivered in the most orderly way possible.”

Thanet council concerns

Thanet council was notified about the intended use of the Glenwood Hotel but says an alternative location should be used.

A Thanet council spokesperson said: “The council received notification from the government about its intention to use the Glenwood Hotel in Cliftonville as contingency accommodation for asylum seekers. The council responded to the Secretary of State for the Home Department expressing strong concerns related to this proposal and urged that an alternative location be considered.

“The council recognises the need for accommodation for asylum seeker households and is fully participating in government-funded schemes to support refugees and asylum seekers.

“The proposal to use this location however risks undermining a great deal of work done previously to tackle deprivation, improve housing conditions, reduce the transient nature of the community in the area and promote community cohesion.

“The council was also clear in its correspondence that changing the use of the hotel would require planning consent, which has not been sought.

“The council did not receive an adequate response to the concerns raised.”

Ramsgate county councillor Karen Constantine has branded the MP’s response as “unkind.”

She said: “Craig Mackinlay’s response to this humanitarian crisis is frankly, unkind and misjudged. What we really need from our local MP, is for him to lobby his own government for safe, fast and effective roots and procedures, so that asylum seekers can have their claims quickly assessed and then be dispersed across the UK.

“The benefit of this would be that the cost to the state would be far less and many of these people, as research has shown, are keen to enter the labour market and become taxpayers, making a positive impact.

“We have a significant skills shortage in the UK and welcoming asylum seekers with the right skills, and the right attitude would be one way to address this retractable problem.

“It is also quite unbelievable that The Glenwood Hotel, with such a small number of rooms, would be such a problem. There are much bigger issues that need our MP’s urgent and focused attention.

“I’m afraid our MP is resorting to ‘dog whistle’ style politics as his vote share, ahead of an anticipated General Election puts him in second place to Labour contender Polly Billington.

“Both are expected to contest the new East Thanet seat. Labour is now heavily tipped to gain the seat from the Tories, with a swing of 5.7%. Mackinlay’s vote share has been assessed as 41.4% and Polly Billington is now leading with 47.2% in Labour’s favour.

“Little wonder he wants to distract voters from his declining popularity.”

Dispersal areas

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The number of people arriving in the UK who require accommodation has reached record levels and has put our asylum system under incredible strain. 

“The Home Office is committed to making every effort to reduce hotel use and limit the burden on the taxpayer. This is why we have been looking at a range of alternative accommodation sites, including vessels which have been used safely and successfully by Scottish and Dutch Governments and former military sites.”

The Home Office previously said all local authority areas in England, Scotland and Wales became an asylum dispersal area by default on 13 April 2022. Officials say the shift to ‘Full Dispersal’ will increase the number of suitable properties that can be procured for ‘destitute asylum seekers.’

More than £21million in un-ringfenced grant funding has been committed to make sure eligible LAs can provide wraparound support locally. Local authorities receive £3,500 per bed space for dispersal accommodation.


Asylum-seeker accommodation in the south is managed by Clearsprings Ready Homes which has a 10-year contract in England and Wales and, along with Serco, has the contract for the government’s adult asylum dispersal scheme.

The value of the Clearsprings contract is £662 million for operations in the South and £334 million for Wales totalling £996 million for the 10 year period.

The intention of the scheme is that by distribution across the country no one area will be overburdened with giving accommodation support.

However, last year Mr Jenrick in a meeting with Kent authority leaders pledged that Thanet and Dover would be excluded from the dispersal allocation as both districts were already providing facilities by way of processing centres.

Irregular routes

The UN Refugee Convention  recognises people fleeing persecution may have to use irregular means to escape and claim asylum in another country.

Those who are trying to seek asylum in the UK often have ties to the country such as family members who live here or they speak the language.

The Refugee Council and other charities have called for the UK to provide safe and legal routes for those seeking asylum to travel to the UK.

Manston centre to be surveyed as part of ‘rapid construction’ proposal to ‘scale up detention capacity’



    • Karen Constantine our local Labour councillor would let all illegal migrants into our country. These aren’t Asylum seekers they are illegal economic migrants. Turkey, Albania etc are not exactly war zones.
      How many of the Labour let them in brigade on this site actually have these migrants staying at their houses ????? Exactly None.

      • Try doing some actual fact checking the data is easy to find and clear. Numbers of Asylum seekers has increased massively under the conservative government. The situation we are in now is entirely down to the conservative government. Most asylum seekers are genuine, where they are not it’s harder than ever to deport them because of Brexit again the conservative gift that keeps on giving.

  1. These aren’t migrants, they’re Asylum seekers.
    Don’t be distracted by Craig and his hateful language; focus on his, and his government’s lack of delivering anything for pretty much any of us… and get them out.

  2. This is worth repeating for the sake of clarity, in my newspaper dated 10/8/23 is a Home Office report that states “Turks were the second most common nationality among small boat arrivals coming to the UK…second to Afghans since April 2022”. It goes on to say that there will have to be a change in the law to return Turkish people to Turkey, similar to that now in use with Albania! So, before anyone gets too excited about a problem with migrants, remember that Turkish people who arrive here on small boats, can’t be sent back to Turkey, Duurh!

    This is a problem I saw many years ago when I was a member of the Dover Detainee Visitor Group, some illegal migrants could not be returned to their home countries if that country did not recognise them as one of their nationals! One man, an Indian who had lived and worked in this country for over 20 years as a cook, could not prove he was Indian, so India refused to accept him!

  3. Good old soon to be our ex-MP Craig showing as much sense and compassion as he normally does. He and his party are so out of touch with the majority now that it’s becoming quite frightening as they drag our country down. The sooner they’re out the better.

    • Be careful what you wish for, the Labour candidate for South Thanet, is from Hackney council, and is a supporter of ULEZ, Thanet Council will be rubbing there hands.

    • Ian, I am yet to meet one person who actually wants these economic migrants to be allowed to settle in this Country. Left wing let them all in, keyboard warriors are the minority and I suspect many of the posters on this site advocating for no borders are actually the same people using different usernames..
      You are however correct about one thing, the government and the shadow government are not listening to the majority because The reality is that if the majority view was listened to, these economic migrants would be sent packing asap.

      • And just where would these “economic migrants” be sent to Concerned? See my earlier post, if the countries they came from don’t want them back, where can they legally be sent to? In my experience as a prison visitor with the Dover Detainee Visitors Group, many if not all those being kept in prison could not be sent back to where they came from, because their own countries wanted proof they were one of their nationals! Few if any had passports, and had no reason to want to go back to their own countries! Can you understand that?

        One prisoner I knew of entered the UK with a false French passport (this was when we were in the EU) and was deported back to France, despite the fact he didn’t speak a word of French! I and others have mentioned this before, the reason why people use small unsafe boats to enter the UK is because they can’t be sent back to the first safe EU country they entered, which was the rule when we were a member of the EU! So, you see the reason why they are coming here is because they can’t be sent anywhere else, got that!

  4. I ask Ms Constantine, how many of these illegal migrants she has staying with her, if she is that concerned, take a in a few, with all the do gooders in Kent, the problem would be solved overnight.

  5. This “illegal immigrants” thing is just a lie. As asylum seekers they are fully entitled to come here. This rhetoric is designed to create hate where compassion should be, and some people fall for that bait. If the Tories hadn’t undermined the asylum system, if they created safe routes in and if they processed applicants efficiently this whole thing would be a non-issue. Those that were then allowed to stay would be great contributors to this country providing the skills that we are so short of. Instead of which the Tories have manufactured this into a ‘them and us’ hate issue, ably abetted by the Mail, Express etc. So sad. Thanks for all the damage that you and your colleagues are doing to our society, Craig…

    • What if they created perfect safe routes for asylum seekers, and there were still boat crossings? Who would still come over on a boat do your think?

      • If you took the safe route you would require a passport which they destroy so you do not know where they come from so that we are unable to send them back, we do not know their date of birth or criminal history and above all they can’t claim to be victims of human trafficking can they. All looked after child migrants are the responsibility of the local authority until they are 25 which includes priority on the housing register and school places so it pays for many of these grown men to lie and make out they are under 18.

    • No Ian. You are factually misleading.
      Not in the manner that those who arrive in rubber boats enter. Contrary to The Immigration Act.

    • Ian, how many of these illegal economic migrants are living with you at your house? Come on, open up your house for at least one of them and then their family. It’s time for people such as yourself to either put up or shut up.

  6. Tripod is 100% correct. Labour & Seeing Red Karen will not be calling the Illegal immigrants Illegal at all but Asylum seekers . Thus when they arrive in there dinghies from war torn French beaches they must be welcomed as obviously they were at risk there 🤔. Their families will soon follow and then their extended families . The Tories and especially our local MP ; Graig Mackinlay ; have tried desperately to stop the people smugglers but I can only guess the people smugglers will become redundant when we have a Labour Government . Be VERY cautious of what you wish for as the problems housing and processing Illegal immigrants currently will seem minor when ( maybe IF Labour win next year )

  7. Well said, Craig. Your efforts in the Commons are much appreciated.
    This is not a humanitarian crisis. It is a criminal operation on the part of people traffickers. Why should British people bear the brunt of it?

      • Quot, the British Empire has nothing to do with it. Neither has slavery, if you want to drag up that old chestnut. The root cause is the US-led wars against Muslim lands in which Britain played a willing role. Now the chickens come home to roost.
        As always, the poorer sections of society pay the cost of it.

      • I blame the Romans, for enslaving us Brits.
        And the Saxons.
        And the Viking.
        And the Normans.
        I await these nations’s apologies, and LOTS of compensation.

    • Absolutely agree.

      Sadly, I’ll not be voting for conservative/labour/LibDems in 2024. I wait to see what other choices are offered at the ballot box.

      The main parties have become tyrants and couldn’t care one iota for the people they pretend to represent.

  8. Don’t worry about a couple of dozen people 8n a Cliftonville hotel.
    Have a mind for the rest of us.
    Energy costs, inflation, cost of living, GDP, global warming, parlous state of the NHS (including the total lack of NHS dentistry in your constituency), a rapidly disappearing public transport system, schools too dangerous to use, libraries closing ….

  9. Interesting comments from Ms. Constantine. Her surname speaks volumes of her previous generations.
    Several decades ago, when I was Chair of the local Amnesty group we had an interesting evening with some Greek Cypriots who had lost everything as a result of the Turkish hegemony in the north of the island after the war.
    Ironically, her own constituency is now experiencing a very similar phenomenon that she is greeting with open arms and (our) open wallets!🤬

  10. Yep move all those locals that are homeless into temporary accommodation out of the area away from friends and family and give it to asylum seekers – My advice to any of the younger generation is get the hell out of this country and head for Canada OZ or NZ as it’s heading for self destruction.
    Tories – nothing in their manifesto to address the ever growing housing problems.
    Labour – Keir Starmer neither has any intentions in his manifesto.

    Thatcher started the ball rolling decades ago selling off most of our council housing and then never replacing it – the greedy private landlords are making the most of this problem and upping the prices monthly as they know they are in charge and don’t care.
    The last thing we need is more homeless from other countries.

    Craig you and your Tory chums need to address the main problem of the boat people and then work from there.
    All the working class of this country will end up priced out and homeless.
    Build more social housing by the 1000’s investing £billions is the only fix.

  11. All of the ‘Guardian reading, so called metropolitan, liberal elite’ want these migrants here. The migrants are put in places miles from where the ‘elite’ live and the aim is 1. to destroy British culture and communities and 2. to prop up the countries GDP.

    I’m no conspiracy theorist but I suspect the ‘so called’ new world order (politicians, banks, big industry) are intent on destroying nationalism on every continent and creating a global consumer economy who stay indoors and buy everything from what will eventually be a handful of companies like Amazon, Google etc etc.

  12. I’m neither left nor right. What is the difference between for example a Somalian refugee and a Ukrainian refugee? Can someone explain why the government pays the British to host a Ukrainian but finds it difficult to house a Somalian. Would British people react differently if the government were paying British people to host a Somalian refugee. This is just a question open to debate.

    • Totally agree. This is a conversation I have had many times. I have 6 lovely Ukrainians in my home. Yemeni? Not allowed. Iraqi (despite the fact that it’s our fault they’re where they are)? nope. It stinks doesn’t it

      • Reply to Deb Shotton
        Do you get paid well from the taxpayer, for hosting your 6 lovely Ukrainians?

        Would you host 6 homeless people born in this country?

        I would be interested in your reply.

        • You do get paid for housing refugees. I long for the day everyone refuses. It’s a tragedy for native Britons.

  13. I wonder how many people could afford to house refugees if they didn’t get financial support from the government.Why is being paid for housing refugees “a tragedy for native Britons”?

  14. My question to Deb Shotton was would she take in the homeless?

    A different question now as they are funded by the taxpayer for this, so,
    if she or anybody else who house Ukrainians are being paid, would they take the homeless in if they were paid the same tax funded rent?

  15. No rent to pay
    No gas to pay
    No electric to pay
    No water rates to pay
    No council tax to pay
    No TV licence to pay
    No food bill to pay

  16. It is amazing how out of touch with the real world Seeing Red Karen C is if she considers Craig’s comments in Parliament about the illegals are unkind. The boat smugglers must just love Karen, but if she and the Labour elite welcome the illegals with open borders our population will double in record time. Any of the problems we have now; shortages of housing ; doctors ; dentists ; hospitals ; etc will seem tiny compared to the problems to come . As it is common practice for the illegals to lie about their age; and ditch their mobiles and identity papers en route , it is plain and obvious many are dishonest & may be criminals. Craig s comments are not unkind but represent the true feelings of the majority of our population

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