Asylum seekers could return to the Bibby Stockholm barge at Portland "within weeks" according to Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick.

The asylum seekers were moved off the barge after Legionella bacteria was discovered in the water supply.

The Home Office is now awaiting the results of new tests for Legionella aboard the barge before asylum seekers can be moved back to Portland.

Mr Jenrick took questions in the commons regarding the Government's immigration policy and the Bibby Stockholm barge.

South Dorset MP Richard Drax asked the Immigration Minister when the asylum seekers would return to the barge.

He said: "I thank my right hon. Friend for the very helpful telephone calls I have had during the summer concerning the Bibby Stockholm barge, which is in Portland port in my constituency—something that the majority of us oppose, as he knows.

"We do not have any migrants on board due to the legionella problem, and I understand that the Government are facing various legal actions, not least from the Fire Brigades Union.

"Could he kindly update me and my constituents on the situation concerning that barge, and when and if the migrants will return?"

Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick replied: "I am grateful to my hon. Friend for the co-operation that we have had over the summer.

"I appreciate his position with respect to the barge, although we believe it is important that we move away from expensive hotels to more rudimentary forms of accommodation such as barges.

"It was very unfortunate that migrants had to be moved off the barge over the summer. We deeply regret that.

"We did take a very precautionary approach.

"Tests have subsequently been carried out and the definitive answers to those tests will be received very shortly.

"Assuming that they show no signs of legionella, or indeed any other bacteria or cause of concern, we will move people back onto the boat as soon as possible and I think we can expect that within weeks."