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Saturday, 17 May 2014

Asylum seekers spill over to Holiday Inn in Barnsley from Angel Lodge in Wakefield.

Security company G4S has been putting up asylum seekers in four-star hotel rooms because of a shortage of beds in specialist hostels.

Migrants stayed in the £100-a-night four star Holiday Inn in Barnsley, in South Yorkshire for over a month.

Far from the prison-like conditions detention centres are famed for, the plush rooms come complete with satellite TV, free broadband and 24 hour room service and guests can use the onsite Bannatyne health club.

More than 400 rooms were booked by G4S at the Holiday Inn and nearby Ramada Encore between mid-March and late April.

The company is well-known for its failure to provide enough security staff at the London 2012 Olympics and holds the lucrative government contract to accommodate asylum seekers until their applications are decided on.

And on top of providing half-board, four-star accommodation they failed to tell the police and council of the change as is specified in their contract.

Although the exact cost of the accommodation has not been disclosed, bed, breakfast and an evening meal at the Holiday Inn can be more than £100-a-night.

Asylum seekers in Barnsley would normally stay at Angel Lodge in Wakefield which has 250 beds.

A G4S spokesman said: 'We were short of accommodation in the region and they ended up in there. I'm not sure why this hotel was chosen in particular.

'We're not obliged to tell the Police or the Council we just do it as a courtesy and I don't know if we did in this case'.

'It was far fewer than 400 rooms and they were only there for a few days. I don't know exactly how many or exactly how long though'.

The Home Office said they were aware G4S had used a hotel in Barnsley for temporary accommodation for 'a short period of time' but this had now ended.

A Home Office spokesman said: 'The UK has a proud history of granting asylum to those who need it and providing safe and secure accommodation while applications are considered.

'We continue to consult with our providers and local authorities to monitor existing agreements and ensure that performance levels are sustained, and community cohesion issues assessed.'

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