Pontin's holiday camps could be used to house Afghan refugees as UK airlift ends


Government officials are looking at two of the firm’s six holiday camps in Britain as they scramble to place more than 10,000 people who’ve been airlifted out of Afghanistan

Pontin’s resorts could be use to temporarily house Afghan evacuees after the UK airlifted more than 13,000 Brits and Afghans out of Kabul.

Government sources said the holiday park firm has offered its sites and two specific ones have been identified by officials.

The company has six holiday parks near Weston-Super-Mare, Camber Sands in East Sussex, Lowestoft in Suffolk, Southport, Kewstoke in Somerset, and Prestatyn in north Wales.

A government source confirmed the news, which was first reported by the Telegraph, saying: “It is right we look at every option and every offer of support.”

It is not clear which two sites have been identified for possible use. But officials are scrambling to house those evacuated from the airport in the last two weeks.

The number is greater than the 5,000 Afghan refugees the UK expects to rehome from camps in the next four months, and is around double the number that were originally planned to be taken under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy.





Currently most evacuated Afghans are still in quarantine hotels because the country is on the red list, but thousands will soon see their UK isolation come to an end.

Pontin’s hit headlines recently after some guests complained about the quality of their stay.

One mum, Shereen Garraghan, 36, told the Mirror yesterday the Camber Sands resort was “the filthiest place I have ever been to” and the camp was plunged into a power cut during her break. She added: “I’ve seen prisons cleaner. People are paying to live in conditions you wouldn’t leave dogs in.”

The firm has not yet responded to the allegations.

The UK airlift out of Kabul will end in hours after Britain shut the airport’s gates to new arrivals this morning.

Around 1,000 eligible Afghans and British citizens are still at the Afghan capital’s airport being processed and will be flown to the UK shortly.








A member of RAF personnel hands a young passenger a toy as passengers evacuated from Afghanistan disembark a British military transport aircraft at RAF Brize Norton
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Image:

Ministry of Defence (United King)



But a Cabinet minister today admitted around 800 to 1,000 Afghans who qualified under ARAP will be left behind, and have to escape by other means.

If they are not killed by the Taliban, they could have to flee across a land border.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told Sky News: “We at 4.30am UK time closed the Baron Hotel [where British officials were processing departures], shut the processing centre and the gates were closed at Abbey Gates.

“We will process those people we have brought with us, the 1,000 people approximately inside the airfield now, and we will seek a way to continue to find a few people in the crowds where we can.

“But overall the main processing has now closed and we have a matter of hours.”





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