Suggested wording on Napier Barracks and asylum-seeker camps

Emergency Motion passed by Tonbridge and Malling CLP: Asylum Seekers at Napier Barracks

This CLP notes:

  • The ongoing situation at Napier Barracks, Folkestone. Asylum seekers have been locked in on the base since mid-January, in overcrowded, COVID-unsafe conditions that have been criticised by humanitarian and healthcare organisations.
  • That last week, court orders forced the private contractor Clearsprings, who run the site, to move two men from the barracks due to “inhumane” and “prison-like’ conditions, into hotel accommodation.
    • That following these rulings, there will be hearings on whether Napier Barracks violates human rights and the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The desperate situation of asylum seekers detained there, as evidenced by numerous hunger strikes, suicide attempts, and the recent fire.
  • The lack of a medical officer on-site, and the anecdotal evidence from social media, showing unlicensed individuals prescribing medications, and providing food which is unfit for consumption.
  • That Folkestone and Hythe Council state “the accommodation is not suitable for women and children”, but is suitable for single males.
  • That after the Home Office, Kent County Council is Clearsprings Housing’s biggest customer.

 This CLP believes:

  • That the barracks are being deliberately made inhumane as a clearly political move by the Home Secretary, stating that using hotels or other accommodation would “undermine public confidence in the asylum system”.
  • Refugees and asylum seekers have every moral and legal right to seek a safer, better life in Britain and should not be subject to inhumane treatment in order to claim this right.
  • The Labour Leadership must call for the Government to close down Napier Barracks, and move all asylum seekers to hotels – and ensure humane conditions in these hotels.
  • The Labour Party should stand by its 2019 Conference resolution to support free movement, migrants rights and to close all detention centres.

This CLP resolves:

  • To forward this motion to the NEC (National Executive Committee), Keir Starmer, Kent Labour Forum and Labour South East Region, as well as our Conservative MP, Tom Tugendhat.
  • To call on the KCC Labour Group to review Kent County Council’s connections with Clearsprings.
  • To invite speakers for a meeting on migrants rights, particularly at Napier Barracks, from organisations such as Kent Refugee Action Network (KRAN) and Labour Campaign for Free Movement (LCFM).
  • To call on the Home Secretary to take responsibility and rectify the issue.

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