A RIVAL candidate has expressed his views following the announcement that a hotel in the area that houses asylum seekers will close. 

The site - located in the Stroud district - will be one of 50 hotels to close by the end of January next year, according to government plans.

It is understood asylum seekers currently living in the hotel will be moving to alternative Home Office accommodation such as the Bibby Stockholm barge in Dorset.

Dr Simon Opher, Labour Party candidate for the Stroud constituency, has given his thoughts on the situation.

He said: “It does seem ironic that asylum seeker hotels are being closed in marginal seats only.

"The government are simply gaming an issue which is largely the Tory's fault. 

"There are 175,000 asylum seekers waiting sometimes two years for their applications.

"We are paying £8 million a day to house them.

"Between 70 to 80 per cent of them are likely to receive asylum in this country.

"I have worked with many residents from the hotel. Most have been tortured or imprisoned in their own country .

"They all want to get working and start contributing to our country.

Stroud News and Journal: Dr Simon Opher with lead nurse for migrant healthcare Tiffany Cairns Dr Simon Opher with lead nurse for migrant healthcare Tiffany Cairns (Image: Dr Simon Opher)

"Labour would employ an extra 1,000 staff to process the application quickly and repatriate those whose applications fail. 

"The cost and inefficiency of the Tory system is clear to all.

"They have failed us on immigration and this crude election stunt should not fool anyone.

"Many local people I have spoken to are appalled by the way this has been handled.

"We are, in Stroud, a compassionate community. The sheer ineptitude of the current government is shaming to us all."