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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