FAR-right activists hid behind a banner as they staged a protest outside a hotel being used as a safe haven for asylum-seekers.

Four members of the so-called Patriotic Alternative movement descended on the Holiday Inn Express, in Birchwood Road, Colchester, on Saturday.

In December, the hospitality venue took in more than 100 men - some of which were suffering with mental health issues - after they fled to the UK from their homelands.

During their stunt in front of the hotel entrance the right wing demonstrators unveiled a large banner opposing asylum-seekers.


According to Patriotic Alternative’s social media channels, they later delivered 1,000 leaflets to residents in Colchester highlighting where the men are staying.

Steve Blake, eastern regional organiser for the group, has since claimed residents spoke of being upset about the situation and furious with the Government.

One man who saw the protest, however, said: “I am shocked and disappointed we have people so full of hate they want to protest against these poor people forced from their own countries.”

Maria Wilby, director, operational lead and caseworker at Refugee, Asylum Seeker and Migrant Action, has questioned the Home Office for placing asylum-seekers in hotels.

She said: “The provision of initial accommodation by the side of an A-road in a rural location is confirmation of a hostile environment policy designed to isolate residents.

READ MORE: Hotel off the A12 being used to 'provide accommodation to asylum-seekers'


“It causes nothing but issues for local services who have a duty and inclination to assist but have additional challenges around transport.

“RAMA is delighted to be able to offer support to the residents at the hotel and 77 per cent of them will eventually get status and be able to remain in the country.

“They will be our new neighbours, friends, GPs and teachers and the welcome they receive here will be important in how well they settle here.

“We are happy to play a part in that.”

The Home Office has now responded.

A spokesman said: "The welfare of asylum seekers in our care is of the utmost importance and any attempts to fuel resentment towards them are completely unacceptable.  

“Whenever we seek to use sites for asylum accommodation, we engage with the local police and other stakeholders to identify any community tensions.  

“We continually review the security at asylum accommodation sites with providers.”