Doncaster family shocked by cancellation of Reading Festival hotel reservation to make way for Afghan refugees
The anonymous family were due to stay in town for the annual musical show that takes place this weekend.
But they were forced to find a hotel at the eleventh hour after learning that the Home Office had taken over the Mercure George hotel to house refugees.
They had booked two rooms at the hotel for this Saturday, according to BerkshireLive.
The mother of the family said they made reservations a year before the event and then canceled if they decided not to go.
But just days before the event – which will see large numbers of people book to stay in the city – all reservations have been canceled.
The family has managed to find new accommodation, but the hotel is out of town, which means that one of the family will have to drive downtown and return by car instead of being able to walk.
She said: “Experience shows that it is impossible to get taxis when the festival is taking place, so one of us will have to not drink for the day and park in one of the several local floors.
“It seems incredibly privileged and makes me quite uncomfortable complaining about it.
“I know what these people are going through is a thousand times worse than losing our hotel reservation. But at the same time, I think the reservations should have been honored.
“At this time of year, most of the people there would only have been there for this weekend.”
An email sent to the family on Sunday August 22 read: “We are sure you have watched the recent turn of events with horror and disbelief and you may have sometimes thought if there was a way to help them.
“As the scale of the crisis in Afghanistan grows, the Interior Ministry grapples with the number of refugees to be repatriated.
“They started to contact local authorities to ask for help within their communities for housing.
“We have been approached by the Interior Ministry to accommodate these people, after long deliberations, we have agreed to accommodate these people for the interim.
“We did not take this decision lightly and know the effect it has on you and your plans, but we believe it was the right decision to take given the humanitarian crisis these people are facing. faced.
“We have been looking forward to your stay at the Mercure George, but due to changed circumstances as noted above we must ask you to seek alternative arrangements.
“We hope and are sure that our guest – you – will help us support these people in these difficult times and understand our dilemma.”
The government has confirmed that it will host 20,000 Afghan refugees over the next four years – around 5,000 a year after the Taliban took control of the country.