Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has slammed the High Court's decision to throw out the Borough Council's request to extend its injunction against Novotel.

The council had challenged the Home Office for the takeover of the town centre hotel around two weeks ago to house asylum seekers. 


An emergency injunction was granted by the High Court until November 7 against Fairview Hotels (Ipswich) Limited and Serco Limited. 

As part of that ruling, Novotel or any other hotel in the borough was prevented from taking in any additional refugees.

Ipswich Star: Ipswich Novotel.Ipswich Novotel. (Image: Newsquest)

On Friday the High Court refused an extension to the injunction with the judge saying the factors in favour of discharging the injunction "clearly outweigh" those in favour.

“This is an appalling and intolerable situation that angers me just like it angers my constituents," said Mr Hunt. 

"I’m disappointed but not altogether that surprised by the Court verdict.

“There are an increasing number of MPs who are experiencing similar issues in their constituencies and I’m confident that the pressure in Parliament to try and force a re-think will only grow."

Mr Hunt voiced his concerns to immigration minister, Robert Jenrick, at a Parliamentary debate on Tuesday. 

There, he said a hotel of this standard should not be used for such purposes and raised issues surrounding the treatment of employees at the hotel.

As a result of the Home Office takeover, some members of staff have been told they could face redundancies.

Speaking in Parliament, Mr Hunt said: "I am deeply uncomfortable with how it appears many of my constituents who worked at the hotel have been treated and I do think that the owners of the hotel have questions to answer.

“I believe that if you enter our country illegally from another safe European country you should almost certainly be swiftly deported.

"Failing this in the short term the Home Office must urgently move away from the use of hotels.

Ipswich Star: Ipswich MP Tom HuntIpswich MP Tom Hunt (Image: House of Commons)

"We need cheap and basic accommodation that doesn’t have such a negative impact on the local community."

Suffolk Refugee Support has previously said in a statement: "More than 75% of asylum seekers are currently granted refugee status – and more than 90% from some countries – so we are talking overwhelmingly about vulnerable people with a genuine need for our protection.

"We would always prefer to see people housed in the community, where they can have more independence and a better chance to integrate.

"But asylum seekers must be given safe accommodation and have their initial support needs met.

"Given the great majority of those arriving in Ipswich will eventually be granted refugee status, we call for more resource to be put into speeding up the decision-making process so people can start to look to the future, find work and move on with their lives."

With the High Court's ruling, Mr Hunt said he "will not sit back and accept" the decision, adding: “Next week will be another big week to try and force a rethink."