THE housing of asylum seekers in a Bromsgrove hotel remains a ‘temporary’ measure, government chiefs insist – in response to an incendiary visit to the town by prominent politician Nigel Farage.

Brexit Party leader Mr Farage visited the Britannia Hotel and Spa last week after claiming residents in the town had asked him to investigate the number of asylum seekers being put up there.

The Advertiser reported back in April that around 150 refugees would be housed in the district under emergency Government measures amid the onset of the coronavirus crisis.

In a ten-minute video detailing his visit to Bromsgrove, Mr Farage claimed he had attempted to book a room in the hotel without success, suggesting the asylum seekers would remain there indefinitely.

“Try to book a room,” he said to camera. “The number doesn’t answer and the booking form says it is full for the rest of the year. You would have thought hotels would be empty. This one is full.”

Serco, the public service company that houses asylum seekers on the government’s behalf, refuted Mr Farage’s claims that it had block-booked the hotel for the rest of 2020.

They also rebutted his claim that the refugees were almost exclusively young men aged 18-26, telling the Advertiser that women and families with children were among the asylum seekers being accommodated.

In addition, the Home Office told the Advertiser it uses hotels as asylum accommodation temporarily and that its providers are currently working to secure long-term settings to meet specific needs.

It also insisted that it takes the wellbeing of local communities where asylum seekers are based extremely seriously.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We have a statutory duty to accommodate people who are seeking asylum in the UK who would otherwise be destitute.

“During the pandemic, it has been necessary to use hotel accommodation.

“Throughout this pandemic, we have worked to build capacity to ensure access to safe accommodation that enables public health guidance to be followed.”

During Mr Farage’s video, which has garnered more than five million views on YouTube and across his social media platforms, he speaks to several residents in Catshill, near the hotel.

He also attempts to gain access to the hotel but is asked to leave by Serco employees in a video clip that has had thousands of comments, shares and reactions on social media.

Mr Farage alleges that residents have told him young women have been left in fear of going out by gangs of young men in the area – but a local campaigner accused him of ‘whipping up hatred’.

Bromsgrove Liberal Democrats spokesperson Sam Evans said: “Hate is not welcome here.

“While we understand concerns about illegal immigration, it is unacceptable that Mr Farage should travel to Bromsgrove to make a video criticising people temporarily housed here for safety reasons due to the pandemic.

“These people are not illegal immigrants and are legitimately housed in our local area while awaiting a decision on their status.

“Nigel’s description of one of our hotels as ‘completely taken over’ by migrants is inaccurate and unacceptable.”

In the video, Mr Farage criticises Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid’s lack of communication with constituents on the issue – Mr Javid has not responded to several requests to comment on the subject.