A private company that helps find hotels for asylum seekers has seen its profits treble to £97million – as taxpayers fork out more than £6m a day.
Calder Conferences, which is based in Leeds, received £20.6m from the Home Office in 2021, increasing to £97m in 2022, official documents showed.
Turnover for the year ending February 2022 rose from £5.98m to £23.66m and pre-tax profits trebled to £6.3m.
Meanwhile, company director Debbie Hoban saw her annual remuneration multiply nearly ten times to £2.2m.
Home Office data uncovered by the BBC showed a total of 395 hotels are being used to house 51,000 asylum seekers due to a shortage of official accommodation.
Calder Conferences, which is based in Leeds, received £20.6m from the Home Office in 2021, increasing to £97m in 2022, official documents showed
Out of these hotels, the majority – 363 – are in England, 20 in Northern Ireland, 10 in Scotland and two in Wales.
Outsourcer Serco provides around 109 hotels in England, mainly in the Midlands, East and North West.
Another company, Gloucester-based Mears Group, runs 80 hotels in north-east England, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
The firm increased its annual revenue by 22 per cent in 2021, with its annual report saying this was ‘largely driven’ by its work housing asylum seekers.
There have been numerous complaints from guests of bookings at hotels being cancelled at short notice after the venues were handed government contracts.
Earlier this month, the Best Western Premier Yew Lodge Hotel in Kegworth – which includes a Marco Pierre White New York Italian restaurant – was closed to the public so it could provide accommodation for 250 asylum seekers.
There have been numerous complaints from guests of bookings at hotels being cancelled at short notice after the venues were handed government contracts. Pictured: the Best Western Premier Yew Lodge Hotel in Kegworth, which closed earlier this month
Locals protested over the plans, claiming they were only told about the venue closing days before the asylum seekers moved in.
Rita Pearson, 75, has lived in the village for 42 years and took part in protest with her husband Tony.
The retired administrator and grandmother-of-four said: ‘I feel we are too small of a village to house 250 asylum seekers.
‘We know a lot of people that used to work at the Yew Lodge that have been made redundant.
‘We were given hardly any notice about their arrival and so couldn’t really do a lot about it before they came. That is why we are complaining now.
‘The village of Quorn in Leicestershire went through a very similar thing a couple of months ago where one of their hotels was taken over to house asylum seekers, but because they had Jane Hunt the MP living in the village, the decision was overturned.
‘We haven’t got an MP or anyone living here to help us like they did so we feel aggrieved in Kegworth about the situation.’
Home Secretary Suella Braverman visited Rwanda on the weekend as she tried to restart her stalled plan to send Channel migrants to the country
A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘The number of people arriving in the UK who require accommodation has reached record levels and has put our asylum system under incredible strain.
‘The use of hotels to house asylum seekers is unacceptable – there are currently more than 51,000 asylum seekers in hotels costing the UK taxpayer £6 million a day.
‘The Home Office is committed to making every effort to reduce hotel use and limit the burden on the taxpayer.’
Home Secretary Suella Braverman visited Rwanda on the weekend as she tried to restart her stalled plan to send Channel migrants to the country.
Previous flights have been blocked by judges, but hopes of a breakthrough emerged last night as Ms Braverman said she had been ‘encouraged’ by discussions with the European Court of Human Rights.
Sources said the talks could ‘remove a key barrier to getting flights off the ground’ and finally see boat migrants sent to the east African nation.
The Home Office’s inaugural flight to Rwanda was blocked at the 11th hour by Strasbourg judges who issued an injunction, known as a ‘Rule 39’ order.
The Government’s Illegal Migration Bill sets out plans to allow ministers to ignore Rule 39 measures – unless Strasbourg agrees to rein in their use.
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