BRITAIN has forked out more than £1million in taxpayers’ cash on migrants staying at an RAF base in Cyprus, it has been revealed.
Migrants landed at the base in the Mediterranean in October. It originally comprised of 67 men, 19 women and 29 children.
But ministers refused to resettle the group in Britain through fear of creating a new migrant route to the UK.
It means that Britain has shelled out a staggering £1,122,972 on housing the migrants in the temporary camp RAF Akrotiri.
Shadow defence secretary Emily Thornberry said: “It is completely inappropriate for a military base to be used as refugee camp.
“This is a question of leadership.
“We need a serious strategy for dealing with the refugee crisis, but these figures suggest that the Government is more interested in throwing money at the problem than in coming up with a genuine solution.”
Figures from the Ministry of Defence last month reveal one of the group has been imprisoned, 60 moved into Cypriot communities and 54 are still accommodated at the base.
Food, water and bedding was provided by military personnel in the immediate aftermath.
Britain had previously reached an agreement with Cyprus that travellers from Syrian refugee camps would be dealt with by the Cypriot government.
Armed Forces Minister Penny Mordaunt revealed travellers at a second UK base in Cyprus, RAF Dhekelia, have had “regular access to medical, dental and other health facilities as required”.
Further figures suggest around £2million has been spent on welfare and education for a group of migrants whose boat was brought ashore to British territory on Cyprus in 1998.
In a written question to Ms Mordaunt, Labour’s Tulip Siddiq asked about the cost to British taxpayers of housing and supporting migrants who arrived in October 1998 and October 2015 in the RAF Dhekelia and RAF Akrotiri base areas.
Ms Mordaunt replied: “The total recorded cost to date to the public purse for housing and supporting the migrants who arrived onto sovereign base areas administration land on October 21, 2015, is £1,122,972.
“This includes the initial emergency response, security costs, construction of the transit facility and ongoing support costs.
Ms Mordaunt added: “It is not possible to provide an exact sum spent in total on the migrants who arrived in 1998.
“The costs of the provision of welfare and education, based on recent data, is around 165,000 euros (£127,000) per year.”