GLASGOW’s City Council leader has divulged further details on what officials told the Home Office following their exploration of a “potential site” for an asylum barge.

In her column with the Glasgow Times, Susan Aitken followed up on comments she made online earlier in the week about the UK Government seeking consent from the council for a barge as the first group of migrants arrived on board the Bibby Stockholm accommodation barge in Portland Port, Dorset, despite safety concerns.

On Monday, Aitken referred to a report of safety concerns and claimed the UK Government was seeking consent from Glasgow City Council for an asylum barge to be “sited in the city”.

The SNP councillor for Langside has since added: “Following her failed attempts to fly those seeking sanctuary in the UK to camps in Rwanda, Ms Braverman is forcing asylum seekers onto huge barges in several locations across the UK. 

READ MORE: 'I lived on the Bibby Stockholm - it's NOT acceptable to house asylum seekers on it'

“Earlier this week, the first asylum seekers were moved onto a barge off the south coast of England.   

“Described by Amnesty International as akin to floating Victorian prisons, Ms Braverman now wants other areas to follow suit, with the Home Office exploring the potential of a site in Glasgow.  

“But they have been told in no uncertain terms that Glasgow does not and will not support this cruel approach to often vulnerable and traumatised people.”

Aitken echoed comments made by Wellbeing Economy Secretary Neil Gray who said it is not possible to compare the barge docked in Portland Port, Dorset, with the two cruise ships provided to people fleeing the war in Ukraine who arrived in Scotland.

Gray was responding on Twitter to a Home Office post which said the UK Government is using a “tried and tested” approach, mirroring that taken in Scotland.

The two cruise ships, docked in Edinburgh and Glasgow, were used as temporary accommodation for displaced Ukrainians before new homes were found.

READ MORE: Bibby Stockholm: Charity blocks asylum seekers from boarding barge

He tweeted: “We welcomed; you’re deterring. Incomparable.”

Aitken wrote: “Last year, as an emergency response to the war in Ukraine, refugees were housed in a cruise ship on the Clyde. But let’s be clear. These things are a world away from each other.  

“While that situation was in no way ideal, Ukrainian refugees have very different rights from asylum seekers – they have the right to work, to stay with volunteer hosts and to come and go as they pleased.  

“But asylum seekers kept on these barges are forced to live in detention-like conditions where they will be kept for long periods of time with little or no access to anything but basic support.  

“Unsurprisingly, Labour, the party which introduced the legislation denying asylum seekers access to many benefits in the first place, have confirmed they will continue to use barges if they are elected at Westminster.   

The National: People boarding the barge in Dorset

“Again, in pursuit of Tory votes, Sir Keir Starmer just shrugs his shoulders and claims there’s nothing Labour can do.  

She concluded her piece with a reflection on how Glasgow treats asylum seekers “even… with Westminster tying our hands behind our backs”.

She wrote: “Well, in Glasgow we treat asylum seekers with dignity and respect, even if we do so with Westminster tying our hands behind our backs.  

“We are proud of our record of supporting and integrating asylum seekers and of the contribution they have made to our city. 

“And we will do all we can to prevent human beings being treated in such a callous way in our city."