The Home Office is forcing people back to Napier barracks to face ‘prison like’ conditions

Refugees are being moved back into Napier Barracks despite enduring concerns over conditions and coronavirus. One resident who arrived last Friday said the military site in Kent is “like prison”, despite claims from the Home Office that improvements have been made. More people are expected to arrive on Tuesday, the PA news agency understands. Accommodation for asylum seekers in Napier Barracks in Kent (Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration/PA) The barracks in Folkestone has been dogged by allegations of poor conditions and was hit by a major outbreak of Covid-19. Nearly 200 cases of coronavirus were detected, leading to asylum seekers being moved off the site to…

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MPs and campaigners demand the home secretary stops police clamping down on protests

Campaigners, MPs, and peers have written to home secretary Priti Patel. They’re calling for changes to coronavirus (Covid-19) legislation to allow for protests to take place during lockdown. Protecting the right to protest The letter was organised by Liberty and Big Brother Watch. It calls on the home secretary to provide guidance for police on how to facilitate protests during the pandemic. And it also asks for clarity around laws on the right to protest. The letter emphasises that protest is a human right. This comes ahead of further “Kill the Bill” protests to challenge the government’s draconian Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. The protests are due…

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The Home Office is sinking around £44m a year into Prevent – where’s it all going?

As part of our #FollowTheMoney series, The Canary has been monitoring Prevent funding from the Home Office. We submitted a freedom of information (FOI) request which asked to see the details of Prevent programme funding between 2015 and 2020. What we got was a breakdown of the numbers – and nothing more. The details We asked for: An annual breakdown of Home Office funding of the Prevent programme between 2015 and 2020. A breakdown of Prevent funding as allocated to local councils between 2015 and 2020. Details of any other Prevent projects funded by the Home Office between 2015 and 2020. The Home Office gave us this breakdown of…

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The home secretary is trying to deport a 13-year-old orphan who arrived in Scotland aged 3

A church minister is calling on the home secretary to show “compassion, decency and common sense” in the case of a 13-year-old boy facing deportation. Giorgi Kakava, 13, was three when he fled to Scotland from Georgia with his mother Sopio Baikhadze, who died in 2018. He was granted permission to stay in the UK along with his grandmother and legal guardian, Ketino Baikhadze, in July 2018 after the Church of Scotland launched a campaign. However, their residence permits expired in December. Reverend Brian Casey,  minister of Springburn Parish Church in Glasgow, said it is a “scandal and a moral outrage” that Giorgi is still living in uncertainty and…

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Protesters just brought the hellish conditions at Penally to the Home Office’s front door

The Home Office has had the situation for refugees in the UK brought directly to its door. Because protesters have blockaded the entrance to one of its offices. It was over the appalling conditions in a Home Office-run refugee camp. Hell on earth in Penally As The Canary previously reported, in September 2020 the Home Office controversially began housing refugees at two disused army barracks in Kent and Wales. The latter is a facility at Penally, just outside Tenby on the Pembrokeshire coast. Penally has been leased from the Ministry of Defence by the Home Office, and could be used to house 250 people. At one point the Home Office…

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Cuomo Must Go: Calls Grow to Remove NY Governor over COVID Nursing Home Cover-up & Sexual Harassment

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing mounting calls from fellow Democrats and progressive organizations to resign or be impeached over sexual harassment allegations and his cover-up of thousands of COVID-19 deaths in New York nursing homes. New York Attorney General Letitia James has launched an investigation after three women — two former aides and a woman who met Cuomo at a friend’s wedding reception — accused Cuomo of sexual harassment. “Credible accusations of sexual harassment made by these courageous women coming forward show a clear pattern of Cuomo’s abuse of power,” says New York Assemblymember Ron Kim, who is calling for Cuomo’s resignation. Kim also discusses a…

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Care home group considering if staff without vaccine can work with residents

One of the UK’s largest care home providers has said it is considering whether staff who have refused a vaccine for non-medical reasons can continue in roles where they are in contact with residents. Barchester Healthcare, which runs more than 200 care homes, said it is considering an option where staff make themselves “unavailable for work” in resident/patient-facing roles “by reason of their own decision” on not getting vaccinated. The group had previously announced that it would not hire new staff if they had not had the vaccine for non-medical reasons, citing the vulnerability of its residents and patients. The government has encouraged everyone who is called on…

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Ten people have died after coronavirus outbreak at a care home

We need your help ... The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads. Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion. We have been fighting against an…

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‘Please get us out of these barracks’ say residents of the Home Office’s refugee camp in Wales

Refugees are still being housed at a disused army barracks near Tenby, despite repeated complaints that the accommodation is not suitable. The Home Office has stated its intention to move people out of the Penally barracks. But residents say it’s not happening fast enough. Residents told The Canary that only 11 people have been moved out of the barracks, and 5 more will leave later this week since the Home Office announcement in January, and that around 100 people remain there in appalling conditions. Saif (not his real name), who has been kept at Penally since September 2020, said: The way they are moving people is too slow, last…

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The outrageous reason why the Home Office is housing refugees in ‘horrible’ conditions

In September 2020, the Home Office began to house refugees in former Ministry of Defence (MoD) sites. Two military camps are being used – Penally Barracks in Pembrokeshire, and Napier Barracks in Kent. As The Canary previously reported, the poor conditions at military barrack camps have increasingly been the subject of protests. But it turns out that there’s an outrageous reason why refugees are being forced to endure these appalling conditions. The Home Office is housing refugees in barracks because of concern about confidence in the asylum system. The Independent reported on 31 January that it had seen internal documents saying “the need to control immigration” justified the provision of…

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