THE UK Government has deleted a report calling the Bibby Stockholm asylum seeker barge "discriminatory".

The impact assessment, which found the policy of housing asylum seekers on the asylum seeker barge discriminated on the grounds of age and sex, was published by mistake and then deleted from the Government’s website on Friday, two days after being published.

A note on the website said the impact assessment was “published in error”.

An impact assessment that made similar findings for the former RAF Wethersfield, in Essex, was also removed from the Government’s website on Friday, a day after being published.

The Government has previously declined to publish an equality impact assessment for the Bibby Stockholm.

READ MORE: Bibby Stockholm: Man who died named as 27-year-old from Albania

In September, then-immigration minister Robert Jenrick, in response to a written parliamentary question, told Labour MP Zarah Sultana such assessments were “for internal use” and “not routinely published”.

The assessment published on Wednesday found that the policy of housing up to 500 single men on the barge, currently moored at Portland in Dorset, was “directly discriminating in relation to age (and) sex” because the barge is only suitable for men aged 18 to 65.

However, the document noted that the Equality Act allows for such discrimination if it is “justified as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”.

The assessment argued that the greater need to house male asylum seekers within that age range in accommodation other than hotels justified discriminating on the grounds of age and sex.

The impact assessment for the former Wethersfield airbase drew similar conclusions.

Housing asylum seekers on the Bibby Stockholm and at Wethersfield has drawn opposition from campaigners, who have criticised conditions at both locations as “prison-like”.

It also comes after an inquest has been opened into the death of an asylum seeker who died on the Bibby Stockholm barge on December 12, later identified as 27-year-old Leonard Farruku.

Charlotte Khan, head of advocacy and public affairs at refugee charity Care4Calais, said: “The public have a right to know how our Government are treating the survivors of war, torture and modern slavery.

“Deleting the equality impact assessments from the Home Office website may remove an official watermark from the Government’s mistreatment of asylum seekers but, everyday, behind the barbed wire fences, people’s health and wellbeing is suffering from being held in these prison-like barges and camps.”

A Home Office spokesperson said the equality impact assessment for Portland would be published in due course.

They added: “We continue to provide accommodation for asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute to meet our legal obligation and move away from accommodating individuals in hotels, which is expensive and unsustainable.

“Due to the greater need to accommodate male asylum seekers and those aged between 18-65, it is appropriate and proportionate to use large accommodation sites for male asylum seekers only.”