An asylum seeker housed on the Bibby Stockholm barge in Dorset has died.

There are about 200 migrants living on the vessel moored at Portland which has been beset by problems since it was first docked at the south Dorset port in July.

A Dorset Police spokesperson said: “At 6.22am on Tuesday 12 December 2023, Dorset Police received a report of a sudden death of a resident on the Bibby Stockholm.

“Officers are conducting inquiries into the circumstances of the incident.

“The coroner’s office has been notified of the death.”

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Charity Care 4 Calais said the UK Government needed to "take responsibility for this human tragedy."

Steve Smith, the organisation’s chief executive, said: "They have wilfully ignored the trauma they are inflicting on people who are sent to the Bibby Stockholm, and the hundreds being accommodated in former military barracks.

“They are being separated from the rest of society and we have witnessed a serious deterioration of people’s mental health. We have regularly been reporting suicidal intentions amongst residents and no action is taken.

“This can no longer continue."

Scottish Greens justice spokesperson, Maggie Chapman MSP said: “This is really tragically sad news. My thoughts are with the person who has lost their life, and all of their family and friends who will be mourning their loss.

“The Home Office and others must urgently investigate what lies behind this terrible event. Our hearts and our support must be offered to everyone who is affected.

“The very existence of Bibby Stockholm is a moral travesty. Nobody seeking asylum should be made to live in conditions like this in the first place, and it is heartbreaking that somebody had to spend their last moments there.”

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Richard Drax, the MP for South Dorset told The Times: “I can confirm that tragically there has been a suicide. I am in close contact with the Home Office. Local organisations are investigating what’s happened. This is very sad news, anyone taking their life is very tragic.”

Asylum seekers have only been on the boat since October, around two months after it was evacuated following the discovery of Legionella – the bacteria which can cause the potentially fatal Legionnaires’ disease – in the water supply.

Former home secretary Suella Braverman previously insisted the Bibby barge was safe amid threats of legal action from firefighters and protests about the suitability of the plan.