Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has ordered Mr Barclay to chair the new taskforce after being impressed by the way he has gripped supply chain issues in the food industry since replacing Michael Gove at the Cabinet Office.
Ministers from departments including the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Office will be primarily involved on the task force, with additional input from the Department for Transport and possibly the Department of Work and Pensions.
One Government source: “It is about bringing other departments in and seeing what levers they can pull. The only people coming up with plans is the Home Secretary so far, now we are hoping everyone else can help out.”
Another source said: “The Prime Minister is very frustrated by the small boats, and the fact that numbers are increasing rapidly.”
Thousands put up in hotels because of shortage of council properties
Presently migrants arriving on the south coast are taken to the Tug Haven reception facility near Dover where they are given dry clothing and have their medical needs assessed, before being moved either to an immigration centre or local authority accommodation. However thousands are being put up in hotels because of a shortage of council properties.
Official figures show that around 8,700 migrants were accommodated in nearly 90 different hotels across the UK in February, compared with 1,200 in March the previous year. Some £70million a year has been set aside to cover the cost of these hotels.
To address this so-called ‘pull’ factor of being put up in a hotel, ministers will look at whether to house these migrants in more army barracks rather than hotels. Currently Napier barracks in Kent are used to accommodate migrants.