Glasgow is set to rebuff UK Government plans for an asylum barge in the city. 

Susan Aitken said the council would simply not consent to the Home Office plea.

Details of the request came as the first asylum seekers arrived on the controversial Bibby Stockholm barge moored in Portland Port, Dorset.

Home Office minister Sarah Dines suggested it could house 500 asylum seekers by the end of the week, reports our sister title The Herald. 

Though No 10 later rowed back on the claim, saying the vessel would only have capacity for 500 people by the end of the week. 

The Home Office has struggled to find places to berth the ships.

Edinburgh has already knocked back a request for an old cruise ship to be used, with the leader of the council, Cammy Day, describing it as “floating prison” for asylum seekers.

Taking to Twitter on Monday, Councillor Aitken, said: “The UK government wants  @GlasgowCC to give consent to an asylum barge being sited in the city. We will not give it.

“Glasgow’s communities are proud to be beacons of support and integration for asylum seekers & refugees. This is the polar opposite of that.”

The tweet was shared by First Minister Humza Yousaf.

The Bibby Stockholm barge in Dorset has been beset by difficulties and delays.

Solicitors acting on behalf of some of those expected to be moved to the barge have expressed concerns over safety, including fire hazards.  

The Fire Brigades Union has described the vessel as a “potential death trap.” 

A draft “outbreak management plan” for the barge released after a freedom of information request to NHS Dorset, highlights a number of infectious diseases and conditions that may arise on Bibby Stockholm including diphtheria, TB, legionnaires’ disease, norovirus, salmonella and scabies.

It goes on to warn that in the event of a significant outbreak, “large numbers of staff as well as residents may be impacted."

There are also fears about threats from the far-right.

The UK Government hopes the use of the barge and former military bases to house asylum seekers could reduce the cost of hotel bills.

Speaking to the BBC, Ms Dines said those arriving in the country via unauthorised means should have “basic but proper accommodation” and that they “can’t expect to stay in a four-star hotel”.

She later told LBC: “It is a safe place for people to live and stay. It is a very complex situation. Let us just be clear that the government is determined to use barges such as this one to make sure we have somewhere which is proper — rudimentary but proper — accommodation for migrants.”

Human rights campaigners Amnesty International UK criticised the use of the Bibby Stockholm. 

Steve Valdez-Symonds, the charity’s refugee and migrant rights director, said: “It seems there’s nothing this Government won’t do to make people seeking asylum feel unwelcome and unsafe in this country.

“Reminiscent of the prison hulks from the Victorian era, the Bibby Stockholm is an utterly shameful way to house people who’ve fled terror, conflict and persecution.

“Housing people on a floating barge is likely to be re-traumatising and there should be major concerns about confining each person to living quarters the typical size of a car parking space.”

Refugee charity Care4Calais said they had managed to prevent 20 asylum seekers from being transferred to the Bibby Stockholm.

Steve Smith, the CEO said: “Amongst our clients are people who are disabled, who have survived torture and modern slavery and who have had traumatic experiences at sea.

"To house any human being in a ‘quasi floating prison’ like the Bibby Stockholm is inhumane.

"To try and do so with this group of people is unbelievably cruel. Even just receiving the notices is causing them a great deal of anxiety.

“Human beings should be housed in communities, not barges."

The Home Office says that only adult male migrants who are towards the end of their asylum application process will be housed on the Bibby Stockholm, with none likely to be on the barge for more than nine months.

It all comes during the Tory government’s “small boats week" as the Prime Minister attempts to meet his promise made at the start of the year to tackle migrants crossing the Channel.

More than 15,000 people have made the journey to the UK so far this year.

Some 339 people made the journey on Friday and Saturday after an eight-day hiatus amid poor weather conditions at sea, taking the provisional total for 2023 to date to 15,071.

According to the Home Office, no crossings were recorded on Sunday.

Meanwhile, other measures being considered to curb Channel crossings include the revival of previously-dropped plans to send asylum seekers to Ascension.

The proposals to use the British Overseas Territory are apparently being considered by ministers and officials as a “Plan B” if the Rwanda scheme fails.

Asked why the Ascension Island plan is being reconsidered after seemingly being rejected by Boris Johnson’s government, Ms Dines said “times change”.

Speaking to Sky News, the safeguarding minister said: “We look at all possibilities. This crisis in the Channel is urgent – we need to look at all possibilities and that is what we are doing.

“We are determined to make sure there isn’t the pull factor for illegal migrants to come to this country, basically to be abused by criminal organised gangs.

“These are international operations and they have got to stop.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman would not comment on “speculation” over Ascension Island.