Bibby Stockholm: British public back Rwanda immigration scheme and migrant boats policy, according to poll

Voters are in favour of sending migrants to Rwanda and housing refugees on barges despite controversies, according to a poll.
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Polling conducted by Deltapoll for the Mail on Sunday suggests many Britons back the schemes despite their costs and the public outcry against them. Migrants – 39 in total – were moved off the Bibby Stockholm barge in Portland on Friday after traces of Legionella bacteria was found on board.

Dorset Council said Home Office contractors were told about the health risk on the same day they moved in. The poll – which involved 1,504 people completing an online survey between August 9 and 11 – showed 51 per cent of respondents backed the policy to use floating accommodation to house migrants, with 27 per cent being opposed.

The Bibby Stockholm accommodation barge at Portland Port in Dorset. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA WireThe Bibby Stockholm accommodation barge at Portland Port in Dorset. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
The Bibby Stockholm accommodation barge at Portland Port in Dorset. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
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Government plans to roll out the scheme even further was also backed, with 46 per cent in favour and 30 per cent opposed. The majority of respondents mentioned a dislike for housing migrants in hotels while asylum claims are being processed – 59 per cent being against keeping people in hotels compared to 25 per cent supporting that policy.

When asked about the Rwanda policy, 47 per cent said they supported plans to fly immigrants there while their applications are processed. When asked what the biggest problem facing their family is, the majority said the cost of living crisis (69 per cent), then fixing the NHS (35 per cent), the economy as a whole (35 per cent).

Only 10 per cent listed immigration and asylum as the highest priority.

Home Secretary and Fareham MP Suella Braverman. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA.Home Secretary and Fareham MP Suella Braverman. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA.
Home Secretary and Fareham MP Suella Braverman. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA.

Fareham MP and home secretary Suella Braverman has been a prominent supporting of the government’s “Stop The Boats” policy – aiming to tackle illegal migration. At least six people died and at least 58 – many of them Afghans – were rescued after a boat got into difficulty off the coast of Sangatte on Saturday. Ms Braverman described it as a “tragic loss of life”.

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The Home Office has said the health and welfare of asylum seekers “remains of the utmost priority” and that the evacuation took place as a precautionary measure, with all protocol and advice followed.