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Tragedy Strikes as Asylum Seeker Dies on Controversial Bibby Stockholm Barge in Dorset

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In a distressing turn of events, an asylum seeker has been found dead onboard the Bibby Stockholm barge, a vessel at the center of controversy due to its use by the Home Office to house hundreds of people. The tragedy unfolded this morning at the port in Portland, Dorset, leaving the circumstances of the death yet to be confirmed.

According to The Mirror, The Bibby Stockholm, intended to accommodate up to 500 individuals, has been a focal point of criticism regarding the UK government’s approach to housing asylum seekers. The news of the death has intensified concerns about the conditions and treatment of those residing on the barge.

Labour MP Catherine West took to Twitter expressing her sorrow, stating, “Desperately sad & only days after Home Office removed people from my constituency to Bibby Stockholm with minutes to pack their things. This Government’s cruelty & scapegoating of asylum seekers is causing untold damage & shames the UK.”

Naomi Smith, CEO of campaign group Best for Britain, shared her concerns, saying, “This is incredibly sad and worrying. I hope the authorities will be doing all they can to ensure there are no other fatalities on board this vile vessel.”

Steve Smith, CEO of refugee charity Care4Calais, held the UK government accountable for the tragedy, emphasizing the need for a change in approach. He stated, “The UK Government must take responsibility for this human tragedy. They have wilfully ignored the trauma they are inflicting on people who are sent to the Bibby Stockholm, and the hundreds being accommodated in former military barracks.”

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Smith continued, highlighting the mental health challenges faced by those housed on the barge, “They are being separated from the rest of society and we have witnessed a serious deterioration of people’s mental health. We have regularly been reporting suicidal intentions amongst residents and no action is taken.”

Labour leader Keir Starmer expressed his condolences, saying, “I’m afraid I just haven’t seen this breaking news. I don’t know the details, but obviously my heart goes to the family and friends of the individual who’s lost their life.”

The Bibby Stockholm faced evacuation in August after the discovery of deadly legionella bacteria onboard. However, in October, the Home Office resumed moving people back onto the 500-capacity vessel. The government’s decision to utilize barges for housing asylum seekers has drawn widespread criticism, with concerns raised about the conditions and welfare of those on board.

A Home Office spokesman commented, “We are aware of reporting of an incident involving an asylum seeker on the Bibby Stockholm. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.” The Mirror has reached out to Dorset Police for further details on the incident.

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Birminghamgist Staff is a News Reporter, making waves in the UK with insightful and Engaging reporting.

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