Taxpayers hand caravan park tycoon a fortune to house asylum seekers
The £60 million ‘migrant hotel king’: Taxpayers hand caravan park tycoon a fortune to house asylum seekers
- Graham King made £25million in 2021 thanks to a Home Office contract
The ‘king’ of Britain’s migrant hotels has seen his profits soar to more than £60million a year – all from the taxpayer.
Graham King, a former caravan park and disco tycoon, made £25million in 2021 thanks to a Home Office contract to house asylum seekers in southern England and Wales.
But surging numbers of cross-Channel arrivals meant his profits more than doubled last year.
His firm was paid £1.3billion in 12 months – £3.5million a day – for accommodating and transporting arrivals. Clearsprings Ready Homes had made £500million in 2021.
And in a sign of doubt about the Government’s promises to clamp down on small-boat arrivals – and the resulting hotel costs – it confidently predicts business continuing ‘for the foreseeable future’.
Graham King (pictured), a former caravan park and disco tycoon, made £25million in 2021 thanks to a Home Office contract to house asylum seekers in southern England and Wales
His firm was paid £1.3billion in 12 months – £3.5million a day – for accommodating and transporting arrivals. Clearsprings Ready Homes had made £500million in 2021
But surging numbers of cross-Channel arrivals meant his profits more than doubled last year (file image)
Graham King, 56, ran a caravan park, a taxi firm and a teenage disco a quarter of a century ago, but has since won Home Office contracts to provide accommodation for ever-growing numbers of refugees
The accounts for Clearsprings say it ‘is looking to expand its involvement in large non-hotel accommodation sites, such as ex-army camps’.
Thanks to a government accounting change, expenditure on housing migrants in Britain is now counted as part of the foreign aid budget.
READ MORE: More than 26,000 migrants have now crossed the English Channel in small boats so far this year, official figures show
The annual profits made by Mr King are on a par with the entire aid funding given to war-ravaged Syria. His £60million profit is also more than the £1 a head given to the 60million people of poverty-stricken Tanzania.
Mr King, 56, may become Britain’s first immigration industry billionaire, with his Home Office contract lasting until September 2029.
At the turn of the century he was running a caravan park in Canvey Island, Essex, with his brother. He branched out after a disco he ran lost its licence and he suggested he could use the building – a former cinema – to house refugees instead.
His firm made the news when a council chose to house benefit claimants in its caravans. It was also in the firing line when inspectors found it was putting up asylum seekers in ‘decrepit’ and ‘run-down’ conditions at a former barracks in Kent and an Army camp in Pembrokeshire.
The then Home Secretary Priti Patel initially defended the living conditions but later instructed Clearsprings to make improvements.
Mr King’s wealth has put his son and daughter through a £44,000-a-year boarding school and funded the family’s globe-trotting holidays and Alpine ski trips. His daughter Catalina is studying to be an artist and her creations include £10 prints bearing the slogan ‘Will trade racists for refugees’.
Accountants working for Mr King’s company predict income will stay booming for years, with the Home Office contract running till 2029 and no sign of migrant numbers dropping
Mr King’s company, Clearsprings Ready Homes, holds the exclusive contracts to house asylum seekers across southern England and Wales
Clearsprings did not respond to a request for comment last night.
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper accused the Government of wasting public money on the asylum system and claimed that the Labour Party would stop migrant hotel use and save billions of pounds.
She said last night: ‘The amount of money being wasted by the Conservatives on our broken asylum system is mind blowing – £8million every day.
‘Companies are profiting while the taxpayer suffers and, instead of tackling the problem, they just keep making the costs worse.
‘Labour has pledged to end all asylum hotel use by clearing the asylum backlog, with more caseworkers and a new returns unit, to save the taxpayer £2billion.
‘The British public wants to see strong border security and a properly controlled and fair asylum system.’
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