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Neil Hamilton speaks out against UK asylum policy at Penally Camp protest



CONTROVERSIAL politician and UKIP leader for Wales, Neil Hamilton, was in Penally on Saturday (Oct 10) to add his voice to the growing number of politicians and community leaders who think that former MOD training centre is a wholly inadequate location for emergency accommodation for asylum seekers.

But Hamilton went further, saying “We have no idea how many illegal immigrants there are in this country” and that “The Home Office doesn’t have a clue.”

His attendance in his capacity as a member of the Welsh Assembly didn’t go down well with some, with local Plaid Cymru leader Michael Williams and some local residents taking to social media to ask him to stay away.

Williams tweeted: “I note that you intend visiting [Penally]. I urge you to keep away as your visit will not do other than cause further concerns for local residents. In reply Neil Hamilton tweeted: “The local Plaid council leader doesn’t think Tenby locals have any concerns worth listening to and has warned me away from speaking to my constituents. No wonder the people of Penally feel forgotten.

Nevertheless, he did arrive on Saturday morning and addressed small crowd of anti-asylum seeker protestors with a megaphone.

He said: “I’m here this morning to say this is completely an unsuitable site to house these people, and anyway, none of these people have a legal right to be here in the United Kingdom.”

His view is at odds with the actual legal position, which is all of the asylum seekers in the camp completely lawfully, whilst their asylum claims are being processed.

With police units keeping a eye over proceedings, he went on to say: “They’ve all come from a safe country which is France we all know what that as they came across The Chanel on the small boats.”
“Another small party arrived yesterday we have a government that has no interest in protecting our borders and we are spending a billion pounds a year funding the asylum and refugee system – which is completely broken. “
“When they’ve had their appeals turned down the deportation orders are made, but 90% of them disappear.
“We have no idea how many illegal immigrants there are in this country – the Home Office doesn’t have a clue.”
“Do not believe the words of the Home Secretary, look at her actions …the action we see behind us.
“These people have no connection with this area at all and are being isolated, it’s the people of Tenby and Penally that are having to pay the price of the collapse of the immigration system.”

He added: “We know that The Government has no interest in the immigration system because we have six million immigrants which have come to Britain in the last 10 years.
“Three million have how left the country so we have added three million to the population of the United Kingdom – that’s a city the size of Swansea and every single year that they’ve added to our population.
“This is going to continue indefinitely unless we have a government that has a spine to do something about it
“So, I will continue to give you all my support to people of Tenby, Penally, Pembrokeshire and indeed the United Kingdom – because there are no public demands what we are seeing around us today.
“And we have a government that are not representative of the people of this country, and that goes for Cardiff as well!”

In an official statement last month, when he first heard about the news regards Penally, Neil Hamilton said: “The UK Government has given up trying to control illegal immigration and bogus asylum-seekers. Penally is about to pay the price.

“The useless Tories have totally lost control of illegal immigration. The Border Agency is a farce, the Home Office has no idea how many illegal migrants are in the UK, and bogus asylum seekers whose appeals have failed are rarely deported.

“These people are not asylum-seekers but economic migrants. The law says asylum seekers must seek refuge in the first safe country they enter. They all come here from other EU countries, so they are not entitled to asylum in the UK. They should be sent back across the Channel not dumped in Penally.

“Penally with only 850 inhabitants is about to have 250 young male migrants dumped on them and allowed to roam free.

“The Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru voted in the Senedd to make Wales a ‘Nation of Sanctuary’ open to all-comers. Conservatives talk tough about immigration but do nothing – 3,000,000 migrants have been added to the UK population since 2010.

“The people of Penally did not vote for mass immigration or migrant camps on their doorstep. None of us voted to add a city the size of Cardiff to the UK every year by mass immigration.

“Despite having the Secretary of State for Wales as the local MP, the UK Government puts out the welcome mat for Penally’s 250 new, diverse inhabitants. Labour, Lib-Dems and Plaid Cymru welcome migrants with open arms and think we should take even more. Only UKIP will put a stop to this scandalous abuse.

“The UK Government needs to get a grip and stop bogus asylum seekers now. But don’t hold your breath!”

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Pembrokeshire County Council considering ‘Fire-break’ implications



FOLLOWING the First Minister’s announcement at lunchtime today (Oct 19) of an all-Wales ‘firebreak’ commencing on Friday, Pembrokeshire County Council is currently assessing the impact this will have on its services.

Council Leader, David Simpson, said: “I can provide assurance that detailed planning arrangements both internally, and externally with our partner agencies, are underway to ensure that we are well placed to meet any challenges which may arise.

“We will be issuing further updates over the coming days.”

Councillor Simpson added: “The First Minister has clearly said the ‘firebreak’ has been put in place due to the increasing level of cases across Wales.

“Although the restrictions do not come into force until Friday we all have to act now – early prevention can make a huge difference.”

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Two week national ‘Firebreak Lockdown’ announced for Wales from 6pm on Friday



MARK DRAKEFORD, The First Minister of Wales has announced a two week ‘fire break’ lockdown from Friday October 23 at 18:00 HRS, to last until Monday November 9 at 00:01 HRS

Mr Drakeford said: “This firebreak is the shortest we can make it. It must be sharp and deep in order to have the impact we need it to have on the virus.”

All non essential businesses, including tourism businesses will be told to close.

Businesses have been told that they will be given £1000 each automatically to help with the economic impact of the shutdown.

Mr Drakeford added that children will be the priority and that childcare facilities will open as normal. Primary schools will open after half term.

Secondary schools will be closed for a week after half term to help control the virus.

Universities will offer a mixture of face-to-face learning and learning via video link. Students must stay at their university accommodation during the lockdown.

Responding to the Welsh Government’s announcement of a Wales-wide lockdown, Paul Davies MS, the Leader of the Opposition in the Welsh Parliament, has called the lockdown “not-proportionate” and is calling on the Welsh Government to be “open and transparent” on the evidence to support a lockdown and if the First Minister is committing Wales to rolling Wales-wide lockdowns every month.

Paul Davies MS said: “Sadly, the First Minster has failed to get public support for this second Wales-wide lockdown, failing to be open and transparent about the evidence to justify this lockdown and what his actions will entail for the future.

“The Welsh Government also has to be honest that this road they are taking us down is committing Wales to rolling Wales-wide lockdowns. This is not a two-week break to solve the pandemic, it is likely that we will see regular lockdowns across the rest of the year. The Welsh Government must be clear what actions they are taking during the lockdown to prevent further Wales-wide lockdowns which will have a significant impact on people’s lives and livelihoods.

“However, the main concern is that this national lockdown is not proportionate. The impact on businesses in areas such as Powys, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion, who have the lowest rate of Covid-19 cases in Wales, will be severe at a time when they are desperately struggling to recover from the pandemic so far this year.

“The First Minister needs to urgently come to the Welsh Parliament and answer these questions, to face effective scrutiny by elected representatives and not run his government by media.”

Preseli Pembrokeshire MP, Stephen Crabb told The Herald: “The evidence to support an all-Wales lockdown is weak and I am sceptical that this so-called ‘fire-break’ will tackle the situation in those parts of Wales where infection rates have been out of control. The key issue for Welsh Government to address is what will be done differently after the firebreak ends in those parts of Wales where infection rates have spiralled out of control. Otherwise the whole of Wales risks being dragged back into a series of rolling lockdowns.

“As we saw earlier in the year, lockdowns come with huge costs in terms of harm to the economy and to people’s emotional and mental wellbeing. With the Welsh Government asking UK Government to fund this lockdown, I hope that as many businesses as possible get support they need quickly. Pembrokeshire’s hospitality businesses will be hit particularly hard by these latest restrictions and I will be fighting hard again to see that they are protected as the lockdown kicks in.”

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Cardiff and London at loggerheads over who will pay the bill for the Wales-wide lockdown




THE PLANNED national lockdown for Wales still has many details to finalise before any final announcement of its terms and length.

The major sticking point is money.

During the UK-wide national lockdown from March to July, the Westminster Government picked up the tab for paying Welsh workers’ wages and provided a massive amount of extra funding for business support.

From November 1, the UK government will support eligible businesses by paying two-thirds of each employee’s salary, up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.

Businesses might also be eligible for grant support of up to £3,000 a month to meet other costs.

Devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will receive a total of £1.3bn in increased funding this year to cover similar measures.

Businesses will only be eligible to claim the grant while they are subject to lockdown restrictions.

Council leaders across Wales have expressed their deep concern to Welsh Government ministers about the lack of any detail of what will be done to provide financial support to businesses, particularly those which are not forced to close by lockdown restrictions but close as a knock-on effect of lockdown.

Local authorities, which channelled most business support during the lockdown which began in March, have still not been told by the Welsh Government what help or how much will be available for businesses in that position, let alone how it will be delivered.

The sour relationship between the Welsh Government and Westminster is not likely to help Mark Drakeford’s administration if it looks for fresh funding help from the Treasury to bail it out of the wider economic consequences of a Wales-wide lockdown.

If the Welsh Government tries to go it alone to soften the blow, it faces making significant cuts elsewhere in its budgets.

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