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Bibby Stockholm listing revealed as hoax

UK: A listing purporting to offer a stay aboard the UK Government’s controversial Bibby Stockholm barge for asylum seekers has been revealed as a hoax.

The barge, which is currently moored in Portland Port in Dorset, was listed on for £86 per night, claiming to be managed by a “private host”. The listing in question was later removed by the online travel agency and the unnamed individual confirmed to the BBC that it was a “joke”.

The listing described Bibby Stockholm as offering a “garden, sauna and swimming pool, scenic views overlooking Dorset’s Jurassic Coast”, as well as the provision of towels, bed linen and daily breakfast options.

It comes just days after 39 asylum seekers were evacuated from the engineless barge due to the discovery of traces of Legionella bacteria in the water supply and concerns over a wider outbreak of the disease, amid reports that those aboard are facing cramped and unsanitary conditions.

The Home Office and UK Government have faced a barrage of criticism for their handling of the scheme, with the evacuation taking place a matter of days after the first migrants arrived on board the Bibby Stockholm.

The Bibby Stockholm is said to be able to accommodate more than 500 migrants, and according to some estimates, is costing UK taxpayers more than £20,000 a day. Dorset Council is also being paid £2 million to manage the scheme on a local level.

While the scheme is costing the UK taxpayer, the government has stated that the alternative approach of accommodating asylum seekers in hotels across the country is running up costs of up to £6 million a day, an estimate disputed by refugee supporting, non-profit organisation Reclaim the Sea.

As more asylum seekers arrive in the UK off boats originating from Calais in northern France, the government is continuing to push ahead with its flagship Illegal Migration Act which targets to put a stop to channel crossings. The proposal to relocate asylum seekers to Rwanda in Africa was ruled unlawful by the Court of Appeal in June, though the government expects to take the decision directly to the Supreme Court to get approval.

According to the Home Office, more than 100,000 people have crossed the English Channel in search of asylum since 2018 and daily records continue to fall this month.

The Independent reported in June that Australian travel agent Corporate Travel Management [CTM] had been contacted about a similar plan to hold asylum seekers on an unknown number of vessels [including the Bibby Stockholm] and in hotels.

It has been suggested that the migrants evacuated from the Bibby Stockholm due to Legionella concerns may not return “for weeks” as the investigation of the matter continues, nor is it clear if another vessel is available to hold them.

Before the listing was taken down by, a BBC journalist said that they were able to book a room, although their payment was not processed. said in a statement: “The listing was quickly removed on Friday, and we have taken the steps needed to ensure it can never open again.”