Daily Express

Bibby barge asylum seeker ‘kills himself’

- By Paul Jeeves

CAMPAIGNER­S last night slammed conditions on the Bibby Stockholm barge as a man who died on the migrant vessel was said to have taken his own life.

Police had been called to reports of the “sudden death” of a man housed on the giant barge, based in Portland, Dorset, early yesterday.

South Dorset MP Richard Drax described it as a “tragedy born of an impossible situation” and said he had been told by the Home Office that the man was thought to have taken his own life.

Several other sources said the death was believed to be a suicide.

Portland mayor Carralyn Parkes, who met Bibby Stockholm residents yesterday, said: “They have all said the young man killed himself.

“They are shocked, saddened but not surprised. They have described conditions as appalling. It feels claustroph­obic. The food has deteriorat­ed. And there is fear about reprisals if they were to speak out.”

Migrants housed on the barge claimed the man had been seeking help. A source said: “He went to reception and asked for an emergency doctor appointmen­t.

Screaming

“Eventually they gave him a number to call. He said he didn’t have a phone and asked for one in reception but they wouldn’t give him one. He went to his room and was screaming and punching the walls and security told him to stop.”

Heather Haddow, from the Portland Global Friendship Group, said the young man was from an African nation and arrived early this month. She said: “He had been asking for help from staff. He should never have been on the barge in the first place.”

Steve Smith, from Care4Calai­s, said: “They have wilfully ignored the trauma they are inflicting on people who are sent to the Bibby Stockholm.

“It’s time our political leaders treated them as human beings. The Government’s proxy war against refugees is costing lives.”

Home Secretary James Cleverly told MPs yesterday that the tragedy will be investigat­ed “fully”.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said migrants living on the barge have a “medical assessment, including for emotional trauma” and support is available.

 ?? Pictures: GRAHAM HUNT/BNPS, GETTY, PA ?? Sad...body is removed from the Bibby Stockholm barge, right, yesterday. Left, flowers left outside
Pictures: GRAHAM HUNT/BNPS, GETTY, PA Sad...body is removed from the Bibby Stockholm barge, right, yesterday. Left, flowers left outside
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