Wethersfield asylum seekers protest over conditions on base

Asylum seekers have staged another protest at over conditions on the former military base where they are being housed.

Residents said about 40 men demonstrated outside MDP Wethersfield, Essex, complaining about a lack of medicine, blankets and clothing.

Essex Police said: "Officers monitored proceedings and engaged with those involved."

The Home Office has been contacted for comment.

The protest started late on Thursday morning and police said it ended at 12:30.

MDP Wethersfield
The BBC understands there are between 400 and 500 asylum seekers currently being housed at the site

The road was blocked for a short time, they added.

People living close to the base, near Braintree, said asylum seekers chanted "Wrong plan, wrong place" and told them "It's like a prison".

Video footage from multiple sources shared with the BBC shows about 40 male asylum seekers protesting.

David Price, who runs a campaign called Wethersfield Protest, said one asylum seeker told him: "It's too cold. We can't live there. We don't have anything, we don't have internet."

He said the man told him he had not been able to speak to his family for four months.

Mr Price said he was concerned at the number of asylum seekers who had rashes on their bodies.

Blake Temperly, who lives nearby, said the asylum seekers were complaining that they were not getting seen by doctors.

"They said it felt like a prison, it's freezing and they haven't got the right clothing. Some were wearing flip flops," he said.

Wethersfield is in the Braintree constituency of new Home Secretary James Cleverly.

The BBC understands there are between 400 and 500 asylum seekers currently being housed in refurbished barracks and portable buildings on the former RAF base.

The Home Office plans to house up to 1,700 single males there.

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