Bibby Stockholm

Portrait of the Week: The Crooked House fire, Liz Truss’s honours and a Commonwealth Games flop

Home The first of about 500 asylum seekers were taken to live on the Bibby Stockholm barge on the Isle of Portland, north of the prison and linked to the mainland by one road. The arrival of 339 migrants by small boat across the Channel at the weekend brought the year’s total to 15,071. The government declared it would increase enforcement action against lawyers who ‘coach illegal migrants to lie’ in making claims. Fines were to be tripled for employers and landlords who allow illegal migrants to work for them (up to £45,000 per illegal worker for a first breach) or rent their properties, the Home Secretary announced. The 18th-century

Why do the Tories force asylum seekers to live on welfare?

Over decades of service as a floating hotel, the Bibby Stockholm has accommodated all manner of people. It has housed workers for a Swedish wind farm and for the new Shetland gas plant; homeless people in Hamburg, asylum seekers in Rotterdam. It was briefly considered as a ‘high-end’ barge for students: with 222 en-suite rooms, a restaurant, TV room and gym, it was touted to Irish universities as a floating hall of residence. It makes sense, then, that the government considers the vessel a suitable place to house asylum seekers – given that Britain has so few large residential spaces available. But the mooring of the Bibby Stockholm in Portland

Why not house refugees on barges?

‘By the light of the torches, we saw the black Hulk lying out a little way from the mud of the shore, like a wicked Noah’s ark. Cribbed and barred and moored by massive rusty chains, the prison-ship seemed in my young eyes to be ironed like the prisoners. We saw the boat go alongside, and we saw him taken up the side and disappear. Then, the ends of the torches were flung hissing into the water, and went out, as if it were all over with him.’ It is with a pleasurable shudder that most of us will remember Charles Dickens’s description, in Great Expectations, of the wicked Noah’s ark

The problem with the Bibby Stockholm barge

For British taxpayers perturbed by their £6 million daily bill for housing asylum seekers in hotels, New York City mayor Eric Adams has the solution: handbills. Exasperated by a sudden influx he characterises as a ‘disaster’, Adams plans to dispense police-tape yellow flyers both at the city’s 188 sites for housing migrants and at America’s overrun, purely notional southern border. The leaflets warn in English and Spanish: ‘Since April 2022, over 90,000 migrants have come to New York City. There is no guarantee we will be able to provide shelter and services to new arrivals. Housing in NYC is very expensive. The cost of food, transportation, and other necessities is