AN asylum seeker on board the Bibby Stockholm barge docked in Dorset has died.

Police said officers received reports of a “sudden death” of someone living on the giant vessel, in Portland, Dorset, early on Tuesday morning.

The person’s age and country of origin are not yet known, and it is understood to be a suicide. 

The first asylum seekers were brought back to the giant vessel, moored in Portland, Dorset, in October, some two months after it was evacuated following the discovery of Legionella bacteria in the water supply.

Speaking to LBC News, CEO of refugee charity Care4Calais Steve Smith said: "My information, subject to confirmation, is they took their own life."

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However, Smith stressed the charity was "still seeking confirmation."

He added: "Our thoughts are with the person who has lost their life, their family and their friends.

"It is also with all those stuck on board the Bibby Stockholm who will be experiencing a deep feeling of grief and worry today."

In a statement, Smith added: "The UK Government must take responsibility for this human tragedy.

"They have wilfully ignored the trauma they are inflicting on people who are sent to the Bibby Stockholm, and the hundreds being accommodated in former military barracks.

"They are being separated from the rest of society and we have witnessed a serious deterioration of people’s mental health. We have regularly been reporting suicidal intentions amongst residents and no action is taken."

Smith said the conditions can "no longer continue" and urged political leaders to treat asylum seekers as human beings.

"The Government’s proxy-war against refugees is costing lives," he added. 

Home Secretary James Cleverly told the Commons that the death will be investigated "fully".

He told MPs: “Tragically, there has been (a) death on the Bibby Stockholm barge. I’m sure that the thoughts of the whole House, like mine, are with those affected.

“The House will understand that at this stage I am uncomfortable getting into any more details. But we will of course investigate fully.”

The Scottish Greens justice spokesperson, Maggie Chapman, called the existence of Bibby Stockholm a "moral travesty".

She added: “This is really tragically sad news. My thoughts are with the person who has lost their life, and all of their family and friends who will be mourning their loss.“The Home Office and others must urgently investigate what lies behind this terrible event.

"Our hearts and our support must be offered to everyone who is affected.“The very existence of Bibby Stockholm is a moral travesty.

"Nobody seeking asylum should be made to live in conditions like this in the first place, and it is heartbreaking that somebody had to spend their last moments there.”

The Home Office did not confirm any further details as the news emerged on Tuesday morning.  

A spokesperson said: “We are aware of reporting of an incident involving an asylum seeker on the Bibby Stockholm.

“It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

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