CLAIMS by Home Secretary Priti Patel that there was full consultation on Penally Camp's use for asylum seekers have been challenged following an exchange in Parliament yesterday, Monday February 9.

During Home Office questions, Ms Patel was asked by Plaid Cymru's Westminster leader, Liz Saville-Roberts, to confirm that there would be consultation with the local people when the camp's temporary consent expires at the end of March.

She asked: "Given that planning permission for asylum seekers’ temporary accommodation at Penally is due to run out by the end of March, can she confirm that the local community will this time be fully consulted on the camp’s future and that all new transfers to the site will cease in the intervening period?”

The Home Secretary replied that she was "so disappointed to hear that colleagues across the house are simply not supportive of accommodation when many local authorities themselves failed to cooperate with the Home Office to identify sites in their constituencies.

She added:

"Quite frankly, the hypocrisy in saying ‘we don’t want asylum seekers here, send them elsewhere’ is simply not acceptable."

Asssuring Ms Savile-Roberts: "We consult with everybody," she continued: "In the broadest possible sense, we cannot have this situation where local authorities literally refuse to engage with us, while at the same time saying that consultation is not taking place.”

The Welsh Government stated in September that "The UK Government didn't consult the local community, local services or us about their plans to use a military base in Wales for asylum seekers.”

Ms Savile-Roberts commented afterwards:

“It is simply astounding that the Home Secretary would claim to ‘consult with everybody’ when we know that neither the Welsh Government, the local community or local services were consulted prior to the decision to repurpose the Penally camp.

“Despite widespread concerns, the Home Office decided to confine hundreds of people in inadequate conditions during a winter pandemic.

“It is high time the Home Secretary takes responsibility for the abject failure in Penally and urgently finds safe and suitable accommodation for those inside.”