A DORSET MP has said housing migrants on “boats or on barges” is “totally and utterly out of the question”.

Ministers unveiled plans to house thousands of asylum seekers in disused military bases to accommodate their “essential living needs and nothing more” despite legal threats from local Conservatives.

Robert Jenrick, immigration minister, announced he is “continuing to explore the possibility” of using ferries and barges to reduce the “eye watering” reliance on hotels.

However, South Dorset MP Richard Drax was critical of this option.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Wednesday, March 29, Mr Drax said: “Land-based reception camps in the right place has to be the solution.”

Addressing the minister, he said: “Does (he) agree with me that if you look at what’s happened in hotels so far with illegal migrants, we’ve had all kinds of issues with local residents, disappearing children, sexual assaults etc…

“So would he agree with me that putting these people on boats or on barges where the problem’s going to be exacerbated ten-fold is totally and utterly out of the question.”

Mr Jenrick replied: Jenrick replied: “There are no easy answers… but I do think that placing asylum seekers on well run, large sites with specific facilities provided, having minimal impact upon local communities is the right approach.

“Taking hotels in hotels in relatively ad hoc fashion in town centres, on high streets is not the right way forward. With respect to vessels such as barges or ferries, I do see merit in that.”