ASYLUM seekers from Penally Camp took to the streets last night to protest about their living conditions.

With pressure mounting to re-house the men in alternative accommodation, a group held a protest outside the gates of the facility before around 30 set out to walk to Tenby.

Shouts of 'no to prison' were heard from the men, who have 'had enough' of the way they feel they are being treated in the former Ministry of Defence camp, said a spokesman for Stand Up to Racism West Wales.

He described the protest as 'spontaneous' and 'peaceful' and said that although police were involved in escorting the men back to Penally between around 10pm and 11pm, the asylum seekers had chosen to return of their own accord.

They then stood outside the camp until about midnight, where they continued to voice their protests.

He told the Western Telegraph:

"They have had enough of the poor food, bullying from security staff, cold huts, lack of medical care, blocked toilets, poor adherence to Covid regulations (some staff don't bother to wear masks), lack of mental health support, but above all, being treated as prisoners rather than asylum seekers.

"Things must change.

"They need to be transferred to proper accommodation. Other camps in England are doing this.

"Why not Penally?"

The latest protest yesterday, Wednesday January 13, came on the day it was reported that around half the asylum seekers being housed at a former RAF base in Norfolk are being moved to accommodation in other parts of the country.

As the Western Telegraph reported last week, local MP Simon Hart, who is also Secretary of State for Wales, has asked the Welsh Government to identify 'suitable alternative accommodation in line with their Nation of Sanctuary policy for asylum seekers'.

If this were to happen, he suggested, 'the Home Office could potentially be persuaded not to extend its consent and to vacate in March.'

Home Secretary Priti Patel has insisted the camp is ‘safe and habitable’, despite claims of an in-camp hunger strike and residents’ illness over inadequate nutrition and poor conditions.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesman said:

''Police were called to the Penally Asylum Accommodation Centre after a report of service users holding a protest outside the gates at around 7.40pm on Wednesday, 13 January.

''At around 9.25pm, around 30 males from the camp walked down the A4139 into Tenby. No disorder was reported and the protest remained peaceful.

''Officers remained in attendance, and the service users returned to their accommodation shortly after midnight.''

The Home Office has been asked to comment.