Asylum seekers have pleaded to be relocated to a new hotel as they are “scared to go outside” after it was targetted by violent riots. It comes as a teenager was charged with violent disorder. Jared Skeete, 19, was charged on Sunday with disorderly conduct and assault for beating an emergency worker outside the Suites Hotel in Knowsley. A violent riot erupted on Friday night as protesters gathered outside the hotel, with footage showing demonstrators using sledgehammers to attack a police vehicle and throwing lit fireworks at police officers.
Police say the 19-year-old has been remanded in custody and will appear in Wirral Adult Remand Court on Monday. A total of 15 people, aged 13 to 54, were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder following “violent and despicable” protests outside the Suites Hotel in Knowsley.
The remaining 14 suspects, who are mostly from the Knowsley area and consist of 12 males and 2 women, have been released on conditional bail as investigations continue.
After the “despicable” riot outside the hotel, migrants have reported being “intimidated” and wanting to move “somewhere else.”
Clare Moseley, the founder of the Channel migrant aid group Care4Calais, was one of the 120 counter-protesters who pushed back against members of the far-right fascist Patriotic Alternative group.
After speaking to asylum seekers based in the hotel, Ms Moseley told The Mirror: “They are all pretty intimidated, which, unfortunately, was the whole point of it. All of them just kept saying to me: ‘Can you get us moved? Can we go somewhere else? We don’t want to stay here.’
“That was the thing, they kept saying: ‘we don’t feel safe here’. They were saying: ‘we haven’t done anything wrong here, we didn’t come here to cause any trouble’.”
She added none of them are leaving the hotel after Friday’s violent riot, as they don’t even feel safe walking down the street.
She continued: “They’ve got a really big problem now, they can’t go to the shop or a library or a church or anything. They can’t go anywhere to get any help. There’s nothing for them in the hotel so they are in a very bad situation now.”
According to Ms Moseley the majority of guests staying at the hotel are young males under 30 who only recently arrived and fled persecution in their own country.
She said: “They are victims of really bad things and they are coming here to escape from these horrible things,” adding the hotel feels like a prison for them now.
Shadow levelling up secretary and Wigan MP Lisa Nandy described the protest as “absolutely horrendous”, and criticised the Government for creating a “toxic mix” of anti-migrant rhetoric and poor service provision.
She told the BBC: “In the north of England, places like Knowsley, this is not who we are.
“The story of the last decade has been the story of people across this country throwing open their homes to refugees from Ukraine, stepping up to support the Syrian appeal, when we had impending disaster.
“Even in the last few weeks, we’ve had people across the north of England stepping forward to put forward record donations to help with the appalling situation in Turkey and Syria.
“There are a small number of far-right activists who whip up hate and hostility in this country, we all need to speak with one voice when we say that we utterly condemn them.”
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Meanwhile, development minister Andrew Mitchell said on Sunday that the violence was “totally unjustifiable” and rejected suggestions that the Government had helped stir up anti-migrant sentiment.
He told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg: “We live in a country where peaceful protest is part of our way of life and I strongly support that.
“But violence in the way that we saw on Friday night is completely unacceptable, and the Government condemn it absolutely.”
On Saturday, Home Secretary Suella Braverman condemned disorder at the protest, saying the “alleged behaviour of some asylum seekers is never an excuse for violence”.
More than 28,000 asylum seekers are forced to live in hotel rooms designed for short stays, with hundreds stuck there for more than a year, according to The Independent. The Home Secretary confessed the asylum system is “broken” after facing criticism about overcrowding at the Manston migrant processing centre in Kent where concerns have grown the “inhumane” conditions are leading to a risk of fire, disorder and infection.
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