Richard Holden, Member of Parliament for North West Durham, has spoken in the House of Commons about the proposed Hassockfield Detention Centre as he slams local opposition activists for spreading scare stories about the proposal.

The Home Office has previously confirmed to Richard that the Hassockfield Detention Centre will house around 80 female foreign nationals awaiting deportation and repatriation to their home country at any point. This will consist of female offenders who are foreign nationals and have finished their prison sentences and need to be deported home, female foreign nationals who have broken their visa rules and are awaiting deportation and failed asylum seekers awaiting deportation. No one who has been granted Asylum will be held at Hassockfield. Security will be the same level as at HMP Northumberland, and the centre will create around 200 local jobs, bringing millions of wages into the local economy. Work is set to start within a couple of months.

However, local opposition party activists have been publicising false information about the centre, and it is clear that their opposition is based on the political basis that they don’t believe that people should be deported and support an “open borders” immigration policy, including for foreign nationals who have committed criminal offences in the UK.

Speaking in the Commons, Richard slammed opposition activists for spreading ‘scare stories about the site. Chris Philp MP, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Home Office, confirmed that the detention centre will create local jobs and that only those with no right to stay in the country will be there. He joined Richard in condemning the Labour Party, describing them as ‘against proper border control’.

Commenting, Richard Holden, Member of Parliament for North West Durham, said: “Genuine refugees should always be looked after but we also need to deport those who have no right to be in the UK.

“It is sensible that the former Hassockfield site is turned into an immigration detention and removal centre. Not only does the site have all necessary permissions, but it is also in a sensible location and reusing existing buildings is a sensible use of taxpayer’s money.

“The project will also create hundreds of good, local jobs and bring millions into the local economy – having dealt with the pandemic for a year, it is extremely welcome news that our local economy will see this much-needed boost and I’ve had many people get in touch with me already to enquire about applying for jobs at the site.

“The news that local Labour party activists are spreading false rumours about Hassockfield to try and stir up local criticism is appalling. Not only are they working to weaken the strong immigration system that people voted for in 2019, but they are also working to prevent a huge local boost to our economy. I understand that Labour politicians don’t want criminals and illegal migrants to be deported. I do, and Hassockfields is a sensible option.”

*This content is supplied as a press release from MP Richard Holden of North West Durham.*

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