Small-boat migrants will no longer get the four-star treatment when they arrive in Britain as they are moved out of luxury, country house-style hotels.
In a attempt to slash the massive bills being footed by the taxpayer, sources confirmed Channel arrivals will no longer be accommodated in expensive hotels.
The Government is trying to turn around public opinion in key election battlegrounds and it is hoped the move will save hundreds of millions of pounds a year.
Instead, the migrants will be moved to cheaper motel-style properties – and told to share rooms – as part of a programme to permanently close 100 migrant hotels by the end of March.
Immigration minister Robert Jenrick will today announce the first 50 will shut by the end of January.
Grand: The Grosvenor Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire
Imposing: Former hunting lodge Scalford Country House in Leicestershire
Stately: Former mansion Stoke Rochford Halln in Lincolnshire was said to charge hotel guests £400 a night
In August more than 50,000 Channel migrants were in 400 hotels at a cost of £8million a day.
‘We are getting the most egregious examples of luxurious hotels off our books first,’ a government source said. ‘The country manor houses and the stately home-style properties will be the first to go.
‘We’ve been very clear that we can’t let this drag on any more. It’s been a complete disgrace.’
Last year the Mail reported how migrants were housed at ‘Downton Abbey-style’ four-star Stoke Rochford Hall, near Grantham in Lincolnshire. It has previously been advertised as a luxury Victorian country mansion.
During a parliamentary debate Sir Edward Leigh, a Conservative MP in the county, said the hotel normally charged £400 a night, and described its use by the Home Office as a ‘farce’.
The picturesque Grosvenor Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon, was also taken over for families of asylum seekers, along with Scalford Country House Hotel in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire – once the hunting lodge of the founder of the Colman’s mustard firm.
Scores of couples have been left heartbroken as hotels cancelled their weddings to take small boat migrants instead.
One Afghan who was put up in a luxury four-star hotel in September said he felt ‘like a king’. Amir Khan, 20, ended up at the Macdonald Kilhey Court set in ten acres of stunning grounds near Wigan, along with more than 100 other migrants.
Meanwhile, ministers are understood to believe they have finally turned a corner on the number of migrants crossing the Channel, nearly five years after the crisis began. So far this year 26,168 have reached the UK by small boat, down 30 per cent on the same point in 2022.
Home Office studies are providing growing evidence that the decline is not simply down to choppy conditions in the English Channel.
A source said: ‘We are getting an increasingly clearer picture that it’s down to reduced demand [for illegal crossings].’
A group of people thought to be migrants crossing the Channel in a small boat traveling from the coast of France and heading in the direction of Dover, Kent on August 29
Among the 100 hotels which will stop housing migrants include some in Wigan and Stoke-on-Trent in a bid to lure back voters in election battlegrounds, The Times reported. A requirement for migrants to share rooms has been a key factor in the Home Office being able to slash the number of properties it is block-booking.
In addition, the accommodation barge Bibby Stockholm has finally reopened after legionella bacteria was found in its water system during the summer.
Ministers are determined to make sure the barge, berthed at Portland in Dorset, receives its full complement of 506, it is understood, despite previous concerns from the local council and the fire brigade.
Dozens of migrants arrived at Dover yesterday, including women and children, after no crossings for six days due to windy conditions amid Storm Babet.