Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk has slammed the government’s immigration policy, saying they must ‘get their act together’, as they have put his constituency ‘on the frontline’ of the migration crisis.
The Labour MP’s strong words come as it was revealed today that his town is housing almost 1,000 asylum seekers.
The statistics, provided by the Home Office, show that Rochdale provided accommodation for 957 asylum seekers in the first three months of this year.
Mr Danczuk said: “The world may be watching the chaos in Calais. But make no mistake, it is Rochdale that is on the front line of the growing migration crisis.”
The number of asylum seekers in Rochdale is the highest among the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester, and more than the whole of the South East of England combined.
The town, which has a population of a little over 200,000, was ranked fifth in the country for taking in the greatest number of asylum seekers – just behind major cities Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham and Cardiff.
By contrast, Maidenhead, which lies within the constituency of Home Secretary Theresa May, provides support to just four people seeking asylum.
West Oxfordshire, home to Prime Minister David Cameron’s Witney constituency, has not housed a single asylum seeker since 2008.
“Our town is up there with some of the country’s biggest cities when it comes to taking in displaced people,” the Rochdale MP said.
“This disproportionately high number of asylum seekers puts pressure on public services at a time when Rochdale has been hit by major government cuts.
“It is not reasonable to expect our schools and doctor’s surgeries to cope with this increased demand, which also puts a strain on housing and damages community cohesion.
“Meanwhile those areas represented by the Prime Minister and Home Secretary are not doing their fair share to help these vulnerable people.”
Therefore Mr Danczuk is calling for the increasing number of migrants fleeing conflict and hardships in the Middle East and Africa to be distributed more evenly throughout the UK.
The Labour MP also urged the government to take a tougher stance on illegal immigration.
He said: “The government needs to get its act together and stop illegal immigrants entering the UK and remove those who should not be here by returning them to their country of origin as soon as possible.”
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