Linton-on-Ouse campaigner says 'taxpayers have no rights' to prevent migrants being housed in their area

Olga Matthias told GB News' Mark Steyn "the Home Office really needs to stop this half blown plan"

Published Last updated

Linton-on-Ouse resident and campaigner, Olga Matthias, told Mark Steyn on GB News that "as taxpayers we have no rights whatsoever" when it comes to where asylum seekers are housed in Britain.

This comes after controversial plans to house hundreds of asylum seekers at a former RAF base near the Yorkshire village were abandoned following an intensive local campaign.

Ms Matthias, of the Linton-on-Ouse Action Group told GB News that the policy of housing hundreds of asylum seekers in the same place is "just not the right thing to do".

She also said the scrapping of Linton-on-Ouse plan would be a "hollow victory" if the Home Office simply houses the asylum seekers in a different town or village.

Ms Matthias said: "We've always said it's the wrong plan and the wrong place.

"So we've won the wrong place bit... the Home Office really needs to stop this half blown plan."

Mark Steyn speaking to Olga Matthias
Mark Steyn speaking to Olga Matthias

GB News' Mark asked Ms Matthias whether the reversal of the Linton-on-Ouse plan was a result of a concerted media campaign rather than as a result of residents exercising their rights as taxpayers.

Ms Matthias agreed, saying: "As taxpayers we have no rights whatsoever."

A Government spokesperson said: “The Government is steadfastly committed to tackling illegal migration and stopping dangerous small boat crossings.

“The Government will continue to identify appropriate sites for Greek-style asylum reception centres which will play a key role in reducing the number of asylum seekers in hotels which cost the taxpayer more than £5million each day.”

But, speaking on GB News in May, Kevin Hollinrake, Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton claimed the plans would “treble the size of the village”.

He went on: "It's absolutely wrong that a single village should be sacrificed on the altar of a national policy priority, it's simply wrong."

Earlier this week, Rishi Sunak said he would scrap the plan if he becomes prime minister.

Olga Matthias, of the Linton-on-Ouse Action Group.
Olga Matthias, of the Linton-on-Ouse Action Group.

The former Chancellor, who represents the neighbouring North Yorkshire constituency of Richmond, told the Yorkshire Post the centre “clearly does not have local support” and he would look for an “alternative solution”.

Asked about Mr Sunak’s comments during a visit to Huddersfield on Tuesday, Tory leadership rival Liz Truss told reporters: “My understanding from the Defence Secretary is that site is not going ahead. So it’s a moot point because it won’t be going forward.”

Ben Wallace confirmed during the same visit he had “withdrawn the offer of that site to the Home Office”.

He told reporters: “(Mr Sunak) didn’t oppose it when he was in Government, so that’s a new surprise, but I think, because he’s not in Government, he won’t know what’s been going on and I’ve withdrawn the offer to the Home Office for that site.

“It’s been with them for a number of months, I have obligations to do something else with that site and there are other sites that have been made available to the Home Office if they wish to take it up.”

Mr Wallace added: “It was one of, I think, five sites we offered at the time, when Rishi Sunak was in Government, and he was certainly supportive of it at the time. He isn’t now, interestingly enough.”