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A police chief has admitted officers were consulting with counter-terrorism experts over far-right threats at a military base in North Yorkshire where the Home Office plans to house 1,500 asylum seekers ‘asylum.

On Thursday evening, a meeting of residents of the small village of Linton-on-Ouse were told that the first people were due to move in in less than two weeks. Hambleton and Richmondshire Chief Inspector David Hunter also acknowledged at the meeting that police were being assisted by advice from Counter-Terrorism North East in preparing for the threat of far-right activity which could put asylum seekers at risk.

Home Office officials, along with their Serco contractors who will manage the accommodation, attended the Linton Parish Council meeting to answer questions about the plans from villagers and affected activists. About 10 far-right protesters gathered outside but were barred from entering by police.

Asylum seekers held at other military barracks such as Penally in Wales, which has now closed, and Napier in Kent have been harassed by far-right protesters.

The Home Office plans to move 1,500 asylum seekers to the military base, a former RAF station which closed in 2020, in the village which has just 700 residents. The first 60 people are due to move in on May 31.

Villagers and activists who oppose the plans have launched a campaign against the Home Office using the slogan “wrong plan, wrong place”.

On Wednesday evening, Tory-controlled North Yorkshire County Council voted a vote of no confidence in the Home Office ‘due to lack of consultation with local communities and stakeholders’.

At Thursday evening’s parish council meeting, residents were told there would be guards at the base gates and an increased police presence in the village between 8.30am and midnight seven days a week.

Interior Ministry officials who attended the meeting said there would be forums and multi-agency sub-groups for local people to voice their concerns. Home Secretary Priti Patel is also due to come to hear their concerns, the meeting heard.

Hunter said in response to a question about whether police were prepared for far-right activity at the site, “Northeast Counterterrorism is assisting and advising us.”

Nicola David, chairwoman of Ripon City of Sanctuary and member of the Linton-on-Ouse action group, told Home Office officials at the meeting: “You treat asylum seekers like animals, like pawns in your political game.

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