- Stretch Hummer, which can seat 16, turned up in Longford earlier this year
- Village, in London Borough of Hillingdon, is home to dozens of migrants
- They're normally taken to longer-term accommodation in buses or coaches
- But seven men were reportedly taken to Manchester in this luxury vehicle
A £50,000 stretch limo was hired for £3,000 to ferry asylum seekers from London to Manchester, it was claimed yesterday.
The 16-seat Hummer took seven Africans from the village hotel they had been staying in to their new homes. The chauffeur told astonished locals that the Home Office was picking up the tab.
Residents in Longford, near Heathrow, say they are 'overwhelmed' with migrants who have turned their village into a transit camp.
Luxury travel: A group of seven migrants were reportedly taken from London to Manchester in this £50,000 Hummer limo at a cost of £3,000 covered by the taxpayer, it was claimed
Rana Saif, 55, who owns a pub in the village and took the photograph of the black limousine, said: ‘It’s a big waste of money – and taxpayers’ money at that.
'I have no problem with immigration, I moved here from Sweden, but there are too many in a small village. The limo was here about half an hour.
I thought it must be a stag do.
'There were seven migrants, all young African men. The driver said he was going to take them to Manchester and he was being paid £3,000. He said the Home Office would pay him.'
Immigrants arrive in coaches and are put up in the hotel and local houses by the Home Office while their applications for asylum are considered.
It refuses to say how much it is spending on the accommodation, but one villager said he was told the contract was worth £7,000 a day.
The homes used to house the migrants in the village are owned by multi-millionaire businessman Surinder Arora, 57, who is thought to be earning tens of thousands of pounds a month from the Home Office.
Every day for the past 18 months, coach-loads of young men have arrived to stay in semi-detached houses linked to a hotel also owned by Mr Arora, the Heathrow Lodge – one of a number across Britain being used to house asylum seekers.
WHAT COMPANIES CHARGE FOR THE EXTRAVAGANT STRETCH-HUMMER
As many as ten men from countries such as Iran, Sudan, Eritrea and Syria stay in each home, often several to a bedroom.
Staff from the hotel deliver breakfast, lunch and dinner on trollies.
Mr Arora, a close friend of Sir Cliff Richard, is chairman of Arora Hotels and has a fortune of £356million, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.
Residents say the migrants wander the streets or sit on walls outside people’s homes because they have nothing to do.
They claim more than 100 lived in the village at one point.
But while people living in the village say they are generally well behaved, the big groups of young men can be intimidating.
One 85-year-old called Ray, who has lived in the village since 1955, said the houses on either side of his were taken by asylum seekers.
He claimed they often congregated outside, threw cigarette butts into his garden, and once banged on his window.
Overwhelmed: One resident, Ray, 85, left, said the houses either side of him are occupied by asylum seekers
Bored: Residents say many of the men simply spend their days sitting on front garden walls as they have nothing else do in the tiny village
He said: 'I'm told there are 17 houses with eight or 10 men in each. I have to be careful what I say, I don't want people to think I am racist but it is a problem.
'They have got to be put somewhere but to have so many in such a small village, it is overwhelming for those who do live here.
'They are all men.
If it was a family with children from Syria, we would welcome them to the village, for them to be part of the community, they would be good neighbours.
'But I supposed it's about money, it's business.
He's got empty rooms and they are willing to pay for them.
'I have got them either side of me and they have conversations in my front garden. They may be nice people, but we don't know who they are.'
Immigration centre: Many of the immigrants are staying at 1950s hotel Heathrow Lodge and homes that surround it, all owned by multi-millionaire businessman Surinder Arora, 57, thought to be earning tens of thousands a month from the deal
International: As many as 10 men from countries including Iran, Sudan, Eritrea and Syria stay in each home, often several to a bedroom
The Home Office said asylum seekers were staying in Longford for up to two days before being ‘dispersed’ elsewhere.
One elderly woman said of the village: ‘It is a transit point – they pick some up and drop some more off. They just sit around – you can’t blame them, there is nothing to do.
'No one can use the park. This is not a village any more.’
Yesterday, one Sudanese migrant in his twenties sitting on a garden wall told how he had arrived in Britain by taxi from Paris three days earlier, adding: ‘The house is OK, but the food is bad.
I like England and I want to stay here.’
Another called Mogdad, also from Sudan, said he had paid a trafficker £370 in Calais to get to Britain, adding: ‘I have no choice. I have to get away from death.’
Villager Stan Woods said: ‘We have to accept refugees but you need to plan it properly – not put them in the middle of a community where they don’t fit in.'
Another, who did not want to be named, said: 'It's just greedy, making money like this. Mr Arora would not want them living around his home.'
The hotel in Longford is one of a number across the country being used to house asylum seekers.
Earlier this year, it emerged that dozens of asylum seekers were staying in a spa hotel in Stockport alongside paying guests who said they felt like they were staying at an immigration camp.
A Home Office spokesman said: 'The UK has a proud history of granting asylum to those who need it and we are committed to providing safe and secure accommodation while cases are considered.
'Decisions on the use of hotel accommodation, including which premises are used, are made by individual contractors who bear the cost.
'We have made clear to our providers that the use of hotels is only ever acceptable as a short-term contingency measure. We are taking steps with providers to ensure that this is the case.
Solution? Villagers say that at the peak of the problem, they believed more than 100 were living in the village, but they have since been assured by the manager of the hotel that there would never be more than 40 at a time
'All applications for asylum are considered on their individual merits. Where people establish a genuine need for protection, or a well-founded fear of persecution, refuge will be granted.
'If someone is found not to need our protection, we expect them to leave the country voluntarily. Where they do not, we will seek to enforce their departure.'
A Home Office spokesperson added: 'Our contractors 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.
'The terms of our contract with Serco requires them to take all reasonable steps to ensure transport is appropriate. We have reminded the company of their contractual obligations and expressed our strong disapproval. There was no additional cost to the taxpayer.'
Mr Arora did not respond to requests for comment last night.