Did we really spend £3,000 on a limo for asylum seekers?

Daily Mail's front page shocker falls apart in the small print


The best way to read a Daily Mail story if you want to know what really happened is often to read it backwards.

(What this says about the newspaper’s worldview I leave for readers to decide.)

This morning’s splash about asylum seekers is no exception.

Mail 14 10 15

The story is headed:


And guess what, you’re picking up the £3,000 bill!

Except, guess what? You’re not. Or not in the way this would suggest.

The story is based on claims by a limo driver, who says the Home Office is paying him to move a whopping seven asylum seekers from London to Manchester.

But if you read the story to the very end, buried deep in a quote from said Home Office is information which totally contradicts the driver’s account – and the whole angle of the story:

“Our contractors [in this case, Serco] are responsible for arranging the transport of asylum seekers and bear the cost of doing so. However, this incident was totally inappropriate and Serco has apologised. […]

There was no additional cost to the taxpayer.

In other words, the limo was a decision by contractors Serco, not the government, and was paid for with the money they already receive.

This ‘£50,000 luxury stretch hummer’ hired for £3,000 has not cost you a penny – and the private contractors responsible have apologised for its use.

As with the Mail on Sunday‘s front page shocker in August about ‘Calais migrants’ being put up in swish hotels at taxpayer’s expense, if you follow the money, it overturns the whole whinge of the story – that taxpayers are forking out while ‘migrants’ live in luxury.

Anyone who bothers to read about the lives of asylum seekers and their prospects for the future will instantly see through this hateful garbage.

As one man from Sudan who paid traffickers to take him from Calais to Britain told the Mail: ‘I have no choice. I have to get away from death.’

Out of the jaws of death and into the mouth of ‘my Daily Mail hell’. Could we not offer such people better asylum provisions rather than contempt for being transported and stored like meat?


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Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter

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11 Responses to “Did we really spend £3,000 on a limo for asylum seekers?”

  1. NHSGP

    State pay Serco 3K

    Serco pays for the limo at 3K.

    So Serco 3K – 3K = 0. No net payment by Serco.

    So what’s the real financial effect.

    1. State pays 3K
    2. Migrants get 3K limo ride.

    You can’t spin your way out of that spend.

  2. NHSGP

    As one man from Sudan who paid traffickers to take him from Calais to Britain told the Mail: ‘I have no choice. I have to get away from death.’


    What death is that in France?

    Come on, what are the awful human rights abuses going on in France that people are fleeing in tens of thousands?

    Sorry, but more crap Adam won’t work. People have seen through the spin. They know what you are doing and each time you repeat it they are laughing and spreading the word that politicians like yourself aren’t to be trusted.

    Drip drip drip and its the end of the left.

    Time to change the approach.

  3. Richard

    The real question is why are we paying a private company who have to use a limo because they had nothing else available. There has been no additional cost to the taxpayer, just a cost to the profitability of serco moving migrants about.

    State pays Serco 3k to move migrants

    serco uses normally uses minibus 1k = 2k profit

    overpayment to serco = 2k

    oops minibus breaks down, what can Serco get quick so they don’t miss the deportation flight?

    = a large dent in their overall profits

    = migrants ride in 3k limo – lucky them

  4. Khadija Hasan

    He fled Sudan. Hey have traveled as far as he uk because he speaks English or has family here. The uk touts itself as a great country, the envy of the world. Why would people fleeing persecution expect to find small minded, tight fisted racists?
    If you really want to stop refugees come G and you really think they cost you too much money perhaps you could campaign against tax dodging corporations or war mongering .
    You’d be better off, less likely to be the victim of a terrorist attack and actually be a better person for it

  5. Khadija Hasan

    So your problem is that asylum seekers got a limo ride and you didn’t? Aw diddums

  6. Dave Stewart

    Following on from what Khadija has said the primary reason asylum seekers come to the UK is either A) they speak English, hence living in an English speaking country is preferable and B) because they have family here already. This has been shown to be the case based on asylum applications made.

    Furthermore the UK actually attracts a very small number of asylum seekers compared to our EU neighbours. So the ones that do come here come here for good reason (see above). Surely you can see that by being able to speak the language and/or having family here already will enable these people to better settle and become productive members of our society.

    One last thought, how about whenever you wish to talk and write about asylum seekers you engage in a little bit of empathy. Just put yourself in their place for a few moments, consider what would have caused them to flee the place of their birth, their family, their friends, their communities and homes. Consider the remarkable and dangerous journey they have taken to get here. Maybe once you have done this then make your comments.

    They are people who want to live a good life just like you.

  7. Cole

    Not surprising the guy speaks English: Sudan used to be a British colony. It’s now run by a murderous regime that has killed millions of its own civilians. Its president has been indicted by the ICC for his genocudal behaviour. We should certainly be helping people who have fled whatever selfish and small minded people like NHSGP think.

  8. Cole

    Everyone knows Serco are hopelessly inefficient…

  9. Dark_Heart_of_Toryland

    In that case, you should be criticising Serco for their incompetence, or possibly the state for farming out vital services to the private sector.

  10. Tanc

    Please find that little brain cell of yours, its somewhere in there, maybe playing hide&seek with itself, before you repeatedly post gibberish. Imbecile

  11. Toffer99

    Serco had to give up running a hospital as they couldn’t do it. I expect you knew that if you’re an “NHS GP”. But you’re not, are you?

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