SEVERAL asylum seekers have NOT boarded the Bibby Stockholm barge after their transfers were “cancelled” by lawyers, according to charity Care4Calais.

It comes as the first group of migrants arrived at the accommodation vessel moored in Portland Port, Dorset following a series of delays.

Care4Calais’s chief executive Steve Smith said: “None of the asylum seekers we are supporting have gone to the Bibby Stockholm today as legal representatives have had their transfers cancelled.

“Amongst our clients are people who are disabled, who have survived torture and modern slavery and who have had traumatic experiences at sea.

READ MORE: Scottish council leader claims Home Office wants asylum seeker barge in Glasgow

“To house any human being in a ‘quasi floating prison’ like the Bibby Stockholm is inhumane.

“To try and do so with this group of people is unbelievably cruel. Even just receiving the notices is causing them a great deal of anxiety.”

Home Office minister Sarah Dines earlier said the barge could be up to its full capacity of 500 by the end of the week.

However, the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said no “limit” had been set on how many asylum seekers the Home Office was looking to house this week.

Smith added: “Human beings should be housed in communities, not barges. The Government could just get on with processing people’s asylum claims, instead they are playing to a gallery that seems to thrive on human suffering.

“We will continue supporting people to challenge their decision.”

The National: Tug boat Mercia pulls the Bibby Stockholm accommodation barge into Portland in Dorset

The Home Office declined to comment when approached by The National. 

Other charities have also hit out at the decision to house migrants on the barge (below), including Amnesty International.

The charity’s refugee and migrant rights director Steve Valdez-Symonds said: “It seems there’s nothing this Government won’t do to make people seeking asylum feel unwelcome and unsafe in this country.

“Reminiscent of the prison hulks from the Victorian era, the Bibby Stockholm is an utterly shameful way to house people who’ve fled terror, conflict and persecution.

“Housing people on a floating barge is likely to be retraumatising and there should be major concerns about conflicting each person to living quarters the typical size of a car parking space.”