Home Office blasts Serco after 'limo hired for moving asylum seekers'
A stretch limo was hired by a Home Office contractor to ferry a party of asylum seekers from London to Manchester, it has been reported.
The group of seven Africans was taken in a 16-seat Hummer from the hotel where they were staying while their claims were processed to their new homes, according to the Daily Mail.
The Home Office blamed contractor Serco for hiring the "totally inappropriate" vehicle.
The asylum seekers were said to have been staying in the village of Longford near Heathrow, which has been used as a temporary stopping-off point for new arrivals.
Pub landord Rana Saif told the Mail: "It's a big waste of money - and taxpayers' money at that. I have no problem with immigration, I moved here from Sweden, but there are too many in a small village.
"The limo was here about half an hour. I thought it must be a stag do. There were seven migrants, all young African men.
"The driver said he was going to take them to Manchester and he was being paid £3,000. He said the Home Office would pay him."
A Home Office spokesman said Serco was responsible for arranging the transport and there was no additional cost to the taxpayer.
"However, this incident was totally inappropriate and Serco has apologised," the spokesman said.
"The terms of our contract with Serco requires them to take all reasonable steps to ensure transport is appropriate. We have reminded the company of their contractual obligations and expressed our strong disapproval."