Furious Dudley Tory MP slams ministers over illegal immigration 'failings'

A Black Country Tory MP has accused ministers of showing a "lack of political will" to tackle illegal immigration after plans to turn migrant boats around in the Channel were scrapped.

More than 1,200 migrants flocked into the UK across the Channel on Monday and Tuesday this week
More than 1,200 migrants flocked into the UK across the Channel on Monday and Tuesday this week

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick confirmed that "turnaround tactics" – which would see migrant dinghies intercepted in the Channel and returned to France – had been withdrawn and would not be reintroduced.

The decision has provoked a furious response from Dudley North MP Marco Longhi, who insisted "everything should be tried to stop the swarm" of migrants entering the country illegally.

He questioned why the "pushback" tactic had been ditched when it had "not even been attempted since it was approved".

Nearly 900 migrants crossed the Channel on Monday, taking the total since the start of the year to more than 43,000 – 50 per cent more than in the whole of 2021.

Mr Longhi said: "The legislation was debated and voted on. You will hear Government state that 'everything' should be tried to stop this swarm, and pushback is one of the measures democratically voted on in Parliament through this Act.

"Home Office incompetence and the lack of political will has meant that pushback has not even been attempted since it was approved.

"So it is beyond me how a minister can, unilaterally, state that it does not work. Where is his evidence and where is the democratic mandate to suspend this element of legislation?

"We have not even tried it and where it has been, in Greece and Australia, it did work. I am fuming about this and I will stand up for my constituents by voicing my anger and disapproval of the minister's actions."

Mr Longhi also called on ministers to "operationalise" the Rwanda plan by closing the legal loopholes allowing "lefty lawyers to frustrate the system".

Mr Jenrick revealed the decision in a parliamentary written answer. He said: "There are limited circumstances in which small boats can be turned around safely in the English Channel.

"In view of this, the policy is currently withdrawn and there are no current plans for the turnaround tactics to be reintroduced under defence primacy."

In April, then-Home Secretary Priti Patel said pushback tactics had been put to one side but remained under review.

Mr Longhi's comments come after Britain's most senior police officer of colour condemned the "horrific" rhetoric being used by senior politicians of Asian heritage in relation to migrants.

Former Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Neil Basu said he found some of the commentary coming from the Home Office "inexplicable", comparing it to the "rivers of blood" speech by West Midlands MP Enoch Powell.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News