Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered Mr Barclay to head the new task force after being impressed by the way he has handled supply chain issues in the food industry since he replaced Michael Gove in the Cabinet Office.
Ministers from ministries including the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will primarily participate in the task force, with additional input from the Ministry of Transport and possibly the Ministry of Labor and Pensions.
One government source: “It’s about getting other departments to work and seeing the levers they can pull. The only people who have made plans is the Home Secretary so far, now hopefully anyone else can help.”
Another source said: “The prime minister is very disappointed with the small boats, and the fact that the numbers are increasing rapidly.”
Thousands are staying in hotels due to lack of council property
Currently, immigrants arriving on the South Coast are taken to the Tug Haven Reception Facility near Dover, where they are provided with dry clothes and assessed for their medical needs, before being taken to either a local authority immigration center or housing. But thousands are staying in hotels because of the council’s property shortage.
Official figures show that around 8,700 migrants were housed in nearly 90 different hotels across the UK in February, compared to 1,200 in March of the previous year. About 70 million pounds are allocated annually to cover the cost of these hotels.
To address the so-called “pull” factor of being placed in a hotel, ministers will consider whether these migrants will be housed in more army barracks rather than hotels. Currently, Napier Barracks in Kent is used to house immigrants.