A Sudanese asylum seeker has been found dead in a hotel near Heathrow Airport in west London, sparking a police investigation.
The man, understood to be 24 years old, had been in the UK for four months after sleeping under a bridge in Calais for several months.
He was found dead at the Crowne Plaza hotel shortly before 1am on Sunday.
A Metropolitan Police spokesperson told My London the man died at the scene and they are not treating his death as suspicious.
They are taking steps to contact his family in Sudan.
The hotel is used by the Home Office to house asylum seekers, who staged a protest at the hotel after the man’s body was discovered.
They held signs such as “refugee lives matter” and claimed the man had been “neglected to death”.
They have also planned another demonstration at the hotel for 2pm today.
Home Office sources told The Guardian the investigation is ongoing and a spokesperson said: “We are truly saddened to hear of the death of an individual in asylum accommodation. The health and wellbeing of asylum seekers will always be our priority.
“We are working closely with a range of organisations to ensure immediate support and assistance is provided to people living in the accommodation who have been affected by this tragic death and await further information from the Metropolitan Police as to the findings of their ongoing investigation.”
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Clare Moseley, founder of the charity Care4Calais, told The Guardian: “He was friends with our volunteers in both Calais and the UK. He was cheerful and jokey under the most difficult circumstances.
“Having survived unknown horrors in his home country and a gruelling journey to get here in search of safety we are devastated that his life was cut short here in the UK.”
Earlier this year, Charity West London Welcome shared shocking pictures of meals provided to asylum seekers in emergency hotel accommodation.
One “appalling” dinner included mash, peas and a bag of crisps while another consisted of “congealed” noodles.
The charity claims families awaiting decisions on their asylum for months are not even allowed to use microwaves to heat food up and have to resort to boiling eggs in kettles.
The Home Office has given a number of its contracts to manage temporary hotels housing asylum-seekers to the same firm running the Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, that has been hit by a fire and a Covid-19 outbreak.
Clearsprings Ready Homes was given a budget of £6 per person for three meals a day, WLW claims, with the charity comparing the food to the free school meals scandal.
A Labour MP has branded the food “degrading” and has written to Home Secretary Priti Patel in protest at the “callous” treatment.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “As required by law, we provide asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute with free, fully furnished accommodation and cover their utility costs.
“They are provided with a choice of three meals a day in line with NHS nutrition guidelines, as well as access to fresh fruit and drinking water all day.”