Sunak Refutes Allegations of Disregarding Voter Concerns Regarding RAF Base Usage for Asylum Accommodation

credit: theguardian

London (Parliament Politic Magazine) – Rishi Sunak refutes claims of ignoring Lincolnshire residents’ worries about using RAF Scampton for asylum seekers and addresses transport funding.

Rishi Sunak has denied he is overlooking the concerns of Lincolnshire locals concerning the use of RAF Scampton as accommodation for asylum seekers. The prime minister was repeatedly challenged during a BBC Radio Lincolnshire interview on Monday, 26 February.

“What I’m trying to do is stop the boats from coming in the first place because that is the only way to solve this issue fundamentally,” Mr Sunak stated.

It comes after Home Office figures revealed 290 people crossed the Channel in five boats on Sunday, suggesting an average of around 58 people per boat – the highest number of people making the journey in a single day for more than a month.

Moreover, the PM said Lincolnshire will get an extra £262m for roads and public transport.

Rishi Sunak expressed the money was from the scrapped northern leg of the HS2 rail project.

The Labour Party described the funding as a “re-announcement” and a “back of a fag packet plan.”

Speaking to BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s Breakfast Show, Mr. Sunak upheld the decision to use the former RAF Scampton base to house asylum seekers. He said: “I understand the concerns of local communities about Scampton. This will be done temporarily.”

The prime minister and other cabinet ministers are visiting several locations in the north of England. Speaking about the transport investment, Mr. Sunak expressed it as “an almost unprecedented increase” in funding for local transport projects.

“This is money that has resulted because of the decision that I took on HS2 last year where I said the right priority for our country is something different,” he stated.

“So we’ve taken every penny of those billions that would have been spent on HS2 over the coming years and reinvested it in the North and the Midlands on transport that people rely much more on that they believe should be prioritized.”

Conservative county councilor Richard Davies, who is responsible for highways, welcomed the funding. “Our rough estimate to get Lincolnshire’s roads back up to the national standard would be approaching £400m,” he stated.

“But £262m over seven years would make a significant difference. It would clear a lot of the backlog, it would improve a lot of roads, and it would enable us to work on junctions.”

He contended: “The only problem is if the money is only for seven years, we must be careful about setting up new commitments.”

Labour’s shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh stated communities were “sick and tired” of empty promises.

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“The Tories have failed, and local people are sick and tired of this government taking them for fools,” she stated. “Only the Conservatives could have the brass neck to promise yet another transformation of transport infrastructure in the Midlands and North after 14 years of countless broken promises to do just that.”

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.