Just before Christmas, we found out that the Home Office intended to move at least seven asylum seekers staying at the National Hotel in Muswell Hill to Napier Barracks in Kent.

These asylum seekers have been living in Haringey for three years, are members of our community, and have been supported by the council and other local services during this time. For the Home Office to remove these people at short notice with no explanation and no medical assessments is unacceptable.

Napier Barracks is infamous for its shocking conditions and was ruled unlawful by the High Court last year, so we are determined that none of our residents should be taken against their will.

At short notice a crowd of local people gathered outside the hotel to show their solidarity. I am sure this was the reason why, when the Home Office arrived at the hotel that day, they promptly turned around and have not yet returned.

Ham & High: Cllr Peray Ahmet is demanding fair treatment for the asylum seekers in Muswell HillCllr Peray Ahmet is demanding fair treatment for the asylum seekers in Muswell Hill (Image: Haringey Council)

While the council is not involved in Home Office decisions, we have an obligation to support people who have sought sanctuary here fleeing from war or persecution.

We’ve written to the immigration minister to demand fair treatment for our asylum seekers. We have council officers based at the hotel daily to assist with welfare checks. We are working closely with Haringey Welcome, voluntary groups and faith organisations like the Multi Faith Forum, as well as Freedom from Torture and other specialist advocacy and health organisations to provide support.

The Conservative government’s hostile environment policies of the past 12 years mean asylum seekers and migrants living in fear and poverty, and stoke suspicion, division and discrimination in our communities. Haringey resists this ideology; we know that no matter our nationality or immigration status, we all deserve to be treated with dignity and humanity.

This is why, alongside our partners, we have developed our Welcome Strategy - a commitment to make our borough a welcoming place for everyone who wants to live and work here.

Our vision is for a welcoming and inclusive borough where strong communities nurture all residents to achieve their potential and where every resident has what they need to attain and maintain a good quality of life.

Cllr Peray Ahmet is the Labour leader of Haringey Council.