CAMPAIGNERS against the Bibby Stockholm barge are launching a 'people's inquiry' into the policy surrounding the vessel to try and get it removed from Portland.

Groups claim the asylum seeker accommodation barge, which arrived at Portland Port last summer, is 'inhumane' and should be closed.

Members of Stand Up To Racism Dorset are preparing to produce a report covering all aspects of the barge - and intend to speak to residents of the barge and stakeholders involved including the fire service and local councils.

It will also include a report from an expert on Legionella bacteria on how the outbreak was handled.

Research is also being conducted into the costs of the barge to determine whether it was cheaper than housing asylum seekers in hotels.

Laney White from Portland Global Friendship Group said, "We have all benefitted from meeting each other. Portland and Weymouth people have shown they can stand up to attempts to stir up racism and division.

"Many of people's fears have begun to go when they actually meet the barge residents."

In December an asylum seeker living on board the Bibby Stockholm barge died, understood to have taken his own life.

"We remember Leonard Farruku with sadness," said Candy Udwin, joint secretary of Stand Up To Racism Dorset. 

"We believe the barge is inhumane and should be shut down, so we are taking our campaign to Parliament."

Together with Portland Global Friendship Group and Care 4 Calais, Stand Up To Racism are undertaking the inquiry.

Submissions are being taken from refugees, local people, volunteers, professionals and politicians.

The report will be launched on Tuesday, April 23, in the Houses of Parliament. 

Stand Up to Racism will then invite any interested MPs to attend the inquiry and the group will call on the Labour Party to make a commitment not to renew the contract to keep the barge in Dorset.

Meanwhile, a High Court decision questioning the legality of the barge is still yet to be determined.

Carralyn Parkes, The Mayor of Portland launched a legal challenge against Dorset Council in February, after her first case against the Home Office was rejected.

If you would like to be involved with the inquiry, email