The Home Office spent thousands of pounds in a month on Domino’s pizzas to feed migrants detained after crossing the Channel.
The fast-food chain’s Dover branch delivered hundreds of pizzas to the Tug Haven Detention Center in July, a site recently discovered to be endangering children.
Government figures showed that Border Force spent £ 6,757.52 on five separate transactions at Domino’s to deliver food to the short-term detention site.
The largest order cost £ 1,824 and was used to feed migrants who had already been detained for 12 hours and were to be detained for a full day or more.
Another order, for £ 1,789, recorded on the Home Office Acquisition Card Transaction Disclosure Log said: ‘Purchased by the Underground Operational Response Team (Cort) for use in Tug Haven where we have migrants arriving on small boats.
“Due to the high number of migrants arriving and the length of time they had not eaten, it was agreed to buy 200 pizzas. “
Three more Domino’s pizza orders – for £ 1,274, £ 1,000 and £ 870 – have been listed as “hot food for migrants who have had to stay overnight in Tug Haven”.
Domino’s branch staff said they could not discuss the orders when contacted by the PA news agency. A spokesperson for the Home Office said: “We ensure that all spending is carefully scrutinized to ensure that every pound of taxpayer money is spent in the most efficient way.”
Hundreds of pounds have been spent on other provisions such as tea, coffee, milk and other refreshments for migrants in Tug Haven.
The Dover facility turned out to be unsuitable for containing the number of migrants arriving through the Channel. A report from the Independent Oversight Board (IMB) on Friday also said Tug Haven was not suitable for children or the vulnerable.
The migrants were initially held in tents and portacabins which were “manifestly unsuitable for holding detainees overnight” at the overcrowded site. Some took place in a double-decker bus.
Two facilities in Kent where migrants were sent after Tug Haven were also deemed unsuitable by the IMB.
At least 3,510 migrants arrived in the UK from France in July and hundreds arrived several times in a day, according to the Home Office. The highest number was recorded on July 19, with 430 arrivals.
Last year, a watchdog said Tug Haven “looked like a construction site littered with rubble”.
Then-chief prison inspector Peter Clarke said: “Just because the numbers are unprecedented, it doesn’t mean they are unpredictable or cannot be planned,” adding that the arrangements at Tug Haven were not adequate, even for a small number of arrivals. .
Since the start of the year, more than 17,000 migrants have made it to the UK, double the figure for all of 2020. The government has introduced a bill to tackle these figures, making it illegal entry into Britain without permission.
The UN Human Rights Council said the bill would violate international law and told the government the numbers were low from a global perspective.