Cleverly says he hopes to close Wethersfield asylum centre as soon as he can

Discontent among people housed at Essex site is growing, with residents complaining about conditions

James Cleverly has said he hopes to close down the controversial mass accommodation centre in Wethersfield “as soon as practicable”, in a departure from government policy to move asylum seekers out of hotels and on to sites like the Essex military base.

Wethersfield, most recently used by Ministry of Defence police, is the Home Office’s largest mass accommodation site in the UK for people seeking asylum, with several hundred people accommodated there.

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