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Far-right British group sparks outrage by harassing asylum seekers in hotels

Most of those interrogated by the far-right group answered their questions, seeming to assume they were officials
Far-right activist harass asylum seekers in their accomodation
In one of the videos, the asylum seekers were interrogated and accused of wasting taxpayers' money (Screenshot)

A far-right British group has sparked outrage after releasing a series of videos in which they harass asylum seekers housed at hotels.

In one video released by Britain First, circulated widely on social media, the far-right activists enter a hotel in Bromsgrove, near Birmingham, and interrogate asylum seekers, accusing them of wasting taxpayers' money. 

In the video, they bang on bedroom doors, demanding to know what country the asylum seekers are from. They also accuse hotel management of housing "illegal immigrants" and insist they have the right to enter the hotels.

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The asylum seekers appeared not to understand who the far-right activists were. Most of those who were interrogated answered their questions, assuming that the Britain First activists were UK officials. 

One of the anti-immigrant activists was Britain First public relations officer Ashlea Simon, known online as Ashlea Robyn, who led pro-Brexit "yellow vest" protests in Manchester last year. 

In one of the videos, Robyn, speaking to the camera, complained that several officials had approached the activists in one of the hotel lobbies and ushered the asylum seekers out of the area.

A West Mercia police spokesperson confirmed that local police had responded to the incident in Bromsgrove, but said the activists had already left by the time of their arrival. 

"Officers were called to a report of a group of people who had gained access to the Bromsgrove Hotel… The individuals had left the premises prior to police arrival and no criminal offences have been reported," the spokesperson said in a statement.

'Disgraceful'

Andy Hewett, the head of advocacy at the Refugee Council, condemned Britain First's actions as "shameful".

"People who come to the UK in search of safety and protection deserve to be treated with respect and dignity," he said.

"It's shameful that far-right groups feel entitled to intimidate people seeking asylum and make them feel so unwelcome."

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A Home Office spokesperson said the department took "the wellbeing of asylum seekers extremely seriously", adding that "any violence or abuse directed towards asylum seekers is completely unacceptable".

Claudia Webbe, a British politician, condemned the incident in a statement, saying "the attacks" on asylum seekers were "disgraceful". 

"I stand in full solidarity with all those who are exercising their legal right to claim asylum," she said. "Britain First and other hate groups represent the very worst of our country. They must not be given any platform to legitimise their vile anti-migrant discourse." 

Similar incidents have been documented across social media platforms, including on YouTube, where one far-right group posted a video of asylum seekers being harassed outside their hotel in Newcastle.

Far-right organisations are also circulating lists of hotels where asylum seekers are being accommodated. 

Middle East Eye has refrained from sharing any of the videos in this article out of concern for the safety of asylum seekers who are often fleeing dangerous environments.