Penally: Protest over asylum seekers' camp

  • Published
Police flank protesters
Image caption,
Police flanking one group outside the camp on Saturday

About 150 protesters and counter-protesters have demonstrated outside an Army training camp in Pembrokeshire being used to house asylum seekers.

There was a visible police presence at the site in Penally, near Tenby.

One group of protesters carried banners including one which read "not racist, not extremist, just concerned locals". A second group has placards saying "migrants and refugees welcome".

It could house up to 230 asylum seekers while their claims are processed.

Some asylum seekers are already being housed at the camp.

Several protests have been staged in the area since it was revealed the site was one of several identified by the Home Office as suitable for asylum seekers.

First Minster Mark Drakeford said the Penally camp had become a target for "hard-right extremist" protesters.

Image caption,
Some people are carrying banner reading "migrants and refugees welcome here"

One woman, who did not want to be named, said she "wasn't racist" but was concerned about the number of migrants being brought to the camp.

Sue Hagerty, one of the counter-protesters, said she was at the site to "welcome" the asylum seekers.

"The men who are coming here, the only different between them and us is luck, and I want to be here to welcome them," she said.

"If I was in that situation and I had to flee to another country, I would hope they would be here to welcome me."

Last week, the Home Office said it was working to find suitable accommodation for asylum seekers, with facilities in the south-east of England under strain.