THE HOME office says medical tests contradict claims made by asylum seekers that they have fallen ill.

A number of asylum seekers who were moved off the barge at Portland Port claimed to have fallen ill and were experiencing 'flu-like symptoms and a fever'.

However, the Home Office said today: "Medical teams continue to monitor those asylum seekers who were on the Bibby Stockholm and no illness has been identified. To suggest otherwise is wrong.”

The asylum seekers have been moved to temporary accommodation outside Dorset by the Home Office after Legionella bacteria was found on board.

A number of the former barge residents later described experiencing 'flu-like symptoms, headaches, coughs and fever'.

It is understood around four of the asylum seekers claimed to have have fallen ill with similar symptoms.

However, none had tested positive for legionella when the claims were made or since.

NHS Dorset has confirmed that asylum seekers are receiving the same healthcare in their alternative accommodation as they were receiving whilst living on the barge.

A spokesperson for barge operators CTM said on Friday that "no individuals had presented symptoms of Legionnaires".

They said: "We are aware of the issue onboard the Bibby Stockholm relating to the water system and are moving service users off the vessel as a precautionary measure.

"The health and well-being of any individual staying in our contracted accommodation is of the utmost importance to us.

“We are liaising with our partners, with works starting this weekend, to resolve this issue as soon as possible.”

A Home Office spokesperson said earlier: "All asylum seekers accommodated on the Bibby Stockholm have now been disembarked as a precaution and moved to alternative accommodation. 

 “The Home Office and our contractors are following all protocol and advice from Dorset Council’s Environmental Health team, UK Health Security Agency and Dorset NHS who we are working closely with.

"Those accommodated onboard the vessel will receive a health assessment with medical staff and will continue to be offered support and medical advice going forward.

"All health precautions are being followed by Home Office and its contractors.

"We will remain in close contact with our partners and will adhere to all advice provided by relevant authorities over the coming days."