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Tensions over hotel being used for asylum seekers

Positive Action in Housing said the 91-room hotel was housing asylum seekers for the Mears Group, which moved them there during the pandemic.

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The scene in West George Street, Glasgow, where a man was shot by an armed officer (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The scene in West George Street, Glasgow, where a man was shot by an armed officer (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The scene in West George Street, Glasgow, where a man was shot by an armed officer (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The hotel at the centre of the stabbing incident in Glasgow has been used to house asylum seekers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Radisson confirmed the Park Inn was partly being used as temporary accommodation, a policy which has received criticism from campaigners.

Nicola Sturgeon referred to tensions, which have surfaced in the city’s George Square amid protests about the living conditions of refugees, when talking about the major incident on Friday in which a suspect was shot dead and six people injured including a police officer.

I don't think it's helpful for people to speculateNicola Sturgeon

At least six people were arrested on Wednesday June 17 following scenes labelled “disgraceful” by the First Minister, when far-right loyalists targeted the rally.

Asked about the hotel being used to house asylum seekers, she said: “Of course people are worried and yes people have an understanding of the location and what that location has been used for in recent times, but beyond that I don’t think it’s helpful for people to speculate.

“Clearly there have been some tensions in Glasgow as there have been in other parts of the UK in recent times, but I want to send a message to people across Glasgow and across Scotland: when dreadful things like this happen, they shock all of us to our core but above all this should remind us of what unites us and not what divides us.”

Positive Action in Housing has criticised private housing provider Mears, which is subcontracted by the Home Office, for moving refugees from self-contained accommodation to hotels.

A spokeswoman for the campaign group said the 91-room hotel was housing asylum seekers for the Mears Group, which moved them there during the coronavirus lockdown.

A Mears Group spokesman said: “We will not anticipate a live police investigation, but we can confirm that the attack happened in a hotel where we are housing asylum seekers during the lockdown period.

“We will provide more details as we are able to and our priority is to look after the welfare of our service users, who will no doubt be traumatised by this terrible event.

“Tonight, we also think of the staff in the hotel and our colleagues at the scene – all are in our thoughts.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “We are aware of an incident at West George Street in Glasgow, which is currently being investigated by the police.”

PA