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Manston Processing Centre – No Immigration Removal Centre 

March 20th 2024

Home Office proposals to construct an Immigration Removal Centre adjacent to the Asylum Processing Centre have been shelved. 

Following representations from North Thanet`s MP, Sir Roger Gale, who met with the Home Secretary before Christmas,  James Cleverly has this morning confirmed that “I have taken the decision not to proceed with the Immigration Removal Centre at this time”. 

Commenting on the announcement the MP has said: 

“I am pleased that this Home Secretary has taken on board my concerns. I have been aware for some time that while Ministers have repeatedly said that there will be no `mission creep` at Manston there has been an alternative agenda within the Home Office. 

While the Processing Centre may not be perfect – nothing ever is – I regard it as an efficient and well-run operation that is doing the job that it was established to do . The addition of a Removal Centre – a euphemism for a secure `asylum prison` - would not have been welcomed locally and represents a red line that I would not wish to see crossed. 

The plans to upgrade the reception infrastructure – which I do welcome – will go ahead. This will provide a more efficient and effective processing centre for those still arriving by small boats. 

I am satisfied that the undertakings given by Tom Pursglove as Minister of State before the Processing Centre opened and re-affirmed by Robert Jenrick and by Suella Braverman , then Home Secretary, are being honoured,”

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