John Stevenson: We all agree that putting asylum seekers in hotels is not really a great policy, so we need to process their applications as quickly as possible. Is it possible for each hotel to be given a timeframe for the processing of applications? That would give confidence to the local community that the hotel will be returned to its normal activity sooner rather than later. It might also incentivise Home Office staff to improve their productivity.
Robert Jenrick: I will take that suggestion back to the Home Office. Our objective is to ensure that we process claims as quickly as possible; a great deal of work is now going on in the Home Office to achieve that and to bring productivity back to where it should always have been, frankly. We want to bring use of the hotels to a close as quickly as possible. We have already set out some of the steps we will take to achieve that, such as considering larger sites and dispersing individuals in local authority accommodation and the private rented sector elsewhere in the country. The real task, however, is to prevent people from crossing the channel in the first place. We cannot build our way out of the issue; we have to reduce the numbers making the crossings.