Hotel tycoons. Security firm bosses. Creche managers. Just some of the scores of people raking in monstrous sums from the 13.7m paid EVERY day to look after asylum-seekers

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  • ‘Asylum Inc’ is an industry that benefits financially from the Government’s policy
  • More than 20,000 migrants have crossed the English Channel this year alone

With Britain facing a permanent migrant backlog costing taxpayers up to £5billion a year in hotel bills alone, the asylum industry has proved to be a lucrative business opportunity for a host of companies who have cashed in on the Government’s demand for housing and processing services.

The Mail on Sunday can reveal that these fatcat bosses are part of an industry known as ‘Asylum Inc’ where groups of lawyers, landlords, hoteliers and security firms benefit financially from the shambles of the Government’s flawed asylum policy.

More than 60 firms have such contracts – ranging from stock exchange-listed giants to hotel groups, transport firms, language-testing companies, technology corporations, creches, a host of digital intelligence firms, consultants and childcare services.

Such companies will inevitably reap more dividends as the Homes Office continues to struggle with the cross-Channel small boats crisis, with a record 175,000 foreigners waiting in the UK for a decision on an asylum claim.

That number increases daily with more than 20,000 crossing the Channel this year so far, including 5,369 in August, a new high for any month on record.

'Asylum Inc' is an industry that benefits financially from the Government's asylum policy (Pictured: Graham King of Clearsprings Ready Homes)

‘Asylum Inc’ is an industry that benefits financially from the Government’s asylum policy (Pictured: Graham King of Clearsprings Ready Homes)

READ MORE: Britain’s asylum backlog hits record high as it tops 175,000 for first time since records began 

There were a total of 78,768 asylum applications relating to 97,390 people in the year ending June 2023. Pictured are the most common nationalities

There were a total of 78,768 asylum applications relating to 97,390 people in the year ending June 2023. Pictured are the most common nationalities

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said: ‘The current system is both unsustainable and completely unfair, particularly unfair on taxpayers who are forking out millions of pounds to house illegal migrants in hotels and local communities.’

Those benefiting from this vast immigration and asylum processing system include a jet-setting former travel agent and an Essex-born caravan park operator who have raked in millions of pounds…

EX-TRAVEL AGENT TYCOON 

Debbie Hoban of Calder Conferences 

Pay: £2.2 million

Hoban is the boss of Leeds-based Calder Conferences, which is among several companies contracted by the Home Office to organise accommodation for asylum seekers.

According to accounts filed with Companies House, these money-spinning taxpayer-funded deals have helped to provide a hefty payday for the 64-year-old, who last year received nearly £2.2million as one of Calder’s directors.

She and her husband Peter have used profits to fund a lavish lifestyle which has included a string of exotic trips to events such as the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and jaunts to Dubai, Bhutan and India’s Taj Mahal.

Lavish life: Debbie Hoban and her husband Peter have used profits to fund a lavish lifestyle which has included a string of exotic trips to events such as the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Debbie Hoban and her husband live in a £3 million converted mill in West Yorkshire with a swimming pool, Jacuzzi and a basement wine cellar

The couple live in a £3 million converted mill in West Yorkshire with a swimming pool, Jacuzzi and a basement wine cellar.

They also linked the property to a cottage via a glass spiral staircase –with the finished project winning an 2018 ICF Builder Award.

Aside from its rich pickings from the Home Office, Calder was reported to have been in secret talks in 2020 with the Ministry of Justice to help house up to 2,000 prisoners in a Butlin’s holiday camp in Skegness to ease the jails crisis during the Covid pandemic. The plan was eventually scrapped.

ASYLUM CONTRACT KING 

Going swimmingly: Graham King has made more than £25m from housing asylum seekers

Going swimmingly: Graham King has made more than £25m from housing asylum seekers

Graham King of Clearsprings Ready Homes

Pay: £25 million

The former small-time Essex businessman is boss of Clearsprings Ready Homes, a company that holds exclusive contracts to house asylum seekers across southern England and Wales.

In 2021, the firm’s takings from the Home Office, which controversially come out of the Government’s foreign aid budget, soared to around half a billion pounds.

The 56-year-old’s personal share of the profits is well over £25million, meaning that he received more than the former British colony of Ghana did in foreign aid.

Since landing his first government contract in 2000, King has profited handsomely from housing migrants, taking numerous luxury holidays while sending his son and daughter to a £44,000-a-year boarding school and purchasing a listed mansion in rural Essex.

HOTEL CHAIN MILLIONAIRE 

Alex Langsam of Britannia

Fortune: £250 million

Langsam is the founder of the budget hotel group, of who watchdog Which? said in its ranking of the UK’s best and worst hotels: ‘Rundown, dirty and once again the worst hotel chain in the UK. Avoid at all costs.’ The company makes millions of pounds from taxpayers by housing asylum seekers across thousands of its rooms, sometimes alongside paying guests.

Britannia is estimated to house one in ten people seeking asylum in the UK and reported a pre-tax profit of £33 million in the year to March 2022.

Langsam, 85, who lives in a ten-bedroom former hotel in Cheshire worth £3.4 million, is estimated to be raking in £100,000 per day in profit, building up a fortune of nearly £250 million.

Alex Langsam, 85, who lives in a ten-bedroom former hotel in Cheshire worth £3.4 million, is estimated to be raking in £100,000 per day in profit

Alex Langsam, 85, who lives in a ten-bedroom former hotel in Cheshire worth £3.4 million, is estimated to be raking in £100,000 per day in profit

WINSTON CHURCHILL’S GRANDSON 

Rupert Soames, Serco

Pay: £4.4 million

The multi-millionaire aristocrat led government contractor Serco –whose work includes border control services and asylum seeker accommodation – for almost nine years till he stepped down at the end of 2022.

Rupert Soames, 64, earned £4.4 million last year, with a benefits package that included nearly £26,000 for a company car

Rupert Soames, 64, earned £4.4 million last year, with a benefits package that included nearly £26,000 for a company car

A grandson of Winston Churchill, he was brought in to steady the FTSE 250-listed company following a series of scandals that included overcharging for the electronic tagging of offenders – some of whom were dead.

Soames, 64, earned £4.4 million last year, with a benefits package that included nearly £26,000 for a company car.

He was educated at Eton and Oxford, where he was a member of the notorious Bullingdon Club, and once described himself as getting ‘hog-whimperingly drunk’ while at university.

Despite Soames’ efforts to rehabilitate the company’s reputation, it has faced criticism for conditions described as squalid at some of its asylum seeker housing.

A report in May quoted employees claiming there was a culture of ‘institutional abuse’ at hotels used by the company to house migrants.

Serco made an overall profit of £237million last year – £72 million of which came from the UK and Europe.

Soames’s replacement is the former boss of the outfit’s British and Europe division, Mark Irwin.

He reportedly has company shares worth £2 million and is on a basic salary of £800,000. 

‘MIAMI PHIL’ 

Phil Bentley of Mitie

Pay: £5.9 million

The Yorkshire-born chief executive of the facilities management and professional services company has been nicknamed ‘Miami Phil’ for his time running Cable & Wireless Communications in Florida.

He took home £5.9 million last year, including a bonus of nearly £4.8 million in cash and company shares.

Mitie’s 64,000 employees work in a sprawling array of industries and it has contracts with groups including the Ministry of Defence, Network Rail and the Department for Work and Pensions.

It is also the largest provider of immigration removal centre management and escorting services for the Home Office and looks after more than 13,000 detainees.

Last year, 14 Mitie staff were suspended after racist WhatsApp messages were made, including vile comments about Syrian refugees ‘swimming to the UK’ and a xenophobic jibe at the then Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Phil Bentley took home £5.9 million last year, including a bonus of nearly £4.8 million in cash and company shares

SHIPPING DYNASTY 

The Bibby family

Dividend: £1.7 million

The family controls the Bibby Line Group, a Liverpool-based shipping services firm and one of the UK’s oldest family-owned businesses. Its chairman is Sir Michael Bibby, 60.

It has been contracted to supply one of its vessels, the Bibby Stockholm, to house asylum seekers on the Dorset coast in a bid to reduce taxpayer cash spent placing migrants in hotels. Bibby Line is more than 90 per cent owned by entities linked to the Bibby family and aside from shipping also offers financial services to businesses.

In its latest accounts for 2021, the company reported a £31million profit on sales of just under £260million. It also paid out a dividend worth nearly £1.7million, most of which has likely flowed into the family coffers.

HOTEL BOSS 

David Miles owns a string of homes, including a £2 million mansion in the South-west, a multi- million-pound London bolthole and a house in Kent

David Miles owns a string of homes, including a £2 million mansion in the South-west, a multi- million-pound London bolthole and a house in Kent

David Miles, Mears Group

Pay: £863,000

The 57-year-old owns a string of homes, including a £2 million mansion in the South-west, a multi- million-pound London bolthole and a house in Kent.

By contrast, some of Mears’ 80 hotels which house asylum seekers have been described by residents as bed bug infested.

Mears’ profits doubled last year to £35 million, though it said little of this was to do with asylum accommodation. In total, it holds Home Office contracts worth more than £1 billion.

A Mears spokesman said: ‘Asylum accommodation and support is one part of our activities. Profits are capped by the Home Office and our margin is small. Mears provides accommodation that is safe, habitable and fit for purpose, meeting all contractual requirements and regulatory standards.’







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