THE Home Secretary has said the UK Government has done “really well” on the Bibby Stockholm barge despite people being evacuated after the discovery of Legionella bacteria in the water supply.

Suella Braverman (below) was also unable to say when migrants will be able to return to the vessel as the “necessary checks and authorisations” are still being carried out more than a month later.

Speaking to LBC, she said: “We were disappointed, obviously, that we had to take people off the barge in August.

“We are carrying out all the necessary checks and authorisations and, once those are completed, we’ll be re-embarking people as quickly as possible.”

The National:

The barge has attracted fierce criticism, including from the Fire Brigades Union who previously spoke of the Government’s “callous disregard” for those onboard.

Asked what was causing the delay to the people returning, Braverman was unable to provide an exact reason.

She said: “This is a complex issue. I think we’ve done very well to stand up the barge so far – there’s been a lot of project management, a lot of intensive work across all of government to stand up these new sites from scratch.”

The Home Secretary added that she remained confident in the safety of the barge despite the setbacks.

The firefighters union had also threatened legal action against the Home Office.

In July, the UK Government passed the Illegal Migration Act which is designed to give powers to deport asylum seekers arriving via unauthorised routes either back to their home country or Rwanda.

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However, it is currently held up in the courts with a deportation flight yet to leave the runway.

The Home Office’s annual report said the legislation “goes further than ever before” to prevent the arrival of small boats, but “legislative changes take time and there is no silver bullet”.

Sunak has made stopping the boats crossing the English Channel one of his top five priorities ahead of a likely General Election next year.