THE Government says it spends more than £5 million a day accommodating asylum seekers and Afghan refugees in hotels.

In July, the Guardian newspaper reported the use of hotel accommodation for people seeking asylum almost trebled in 2021 despite pledges from the Home Office to end its use.

A report from the Refugee Council said by the end of 2021, 26,380 asylum seekers were living in temporary hotel accommodation.

According to the Guardian report, in the last three months of 2021 the Home Office was using 207 hotels to house asylum seekers.

In the last quarter of 2019 just 24 hotels were being used.

In August, the Government said it is working "at pace" to end the use of hotels for asylum seekers and fix the broken asylum system.

It said: "Any council which moves a child from a hotel to their care under the new scheme will receive support funding of £6,000 per child for the first three months to give them the best possible start."

The Marks Tey hotel is closing from this weekend, for an unconfirmed period of time, to allow for the accommodation of refugees evacuated from Afghanistan.

After the Gazette revealed the reasons behind this closure, North Essex Momentum - a left wing political organisation - said the focus should be on "concern for the refugees, not the cancellation of social events at the hotel".

The group said: "Our love and solidarity goes out to the Afghan refugees who have fled the Taliban regime.

"Our Government is responsible for the fate of these refugees as it helped carry out a misguided invasion which ended in a foreign policy disaster.

"We are glad that these refugees are in Britain and believe more Afghan people, at risk from the awful Taliban, should be allowed to flee.

"North Essex Momentum believes, because of the war in Afghanistan, it is our Government’s duty to provide decent housing for all these people as a matter of absolute urgency.

"The racists commenting on the Gazette article are an immoral disgrace and bring shame on our city.

"Colchester people are so much better than this horrible minority.

"Essex has a proud and long history of housing refugees which includes our support for the Kindertransport children during the Second World War and providing, as long ago as the 16th century, homes to Flemish Protestant refugees fleeing religious persecution.

"Colchester United once fielded a Spanish refugee who had fled Fascist Franco’s Spain.

"We face the sea and we must always play our part in providing a safe haven for those facing oppression.

"We are so lucky to have Colchester Refugee Action and we urge all our followers to give whatever support they can to this wonderful local group"