Braverman calls migrant crisis an ‘invasion’, faces heat

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Manston, a former military base in Kent, opened as a processing centre in February this year, for the growing number of migrants reaching the UK in small boats…reports Asian Lite News

Indian-origin Suella Braverman, already under fire over her re-appointment as the UK Home Secretary, has sparked off another outrage by comparing migrant crisis in the country to “invasion”.

Braverman, who was forced to resign from her position under former Prime Minister Liz Truss for breaching the ministerial code of conduct, said on Monday that migrants have launched an “invasion on our southern coast”.

“Let’s stop pretending that they are all refugees in distress,” she said while responding to questions in the House of Commons amid concerns about conditions at the Manston processing site in Kent.

Manston, a former military base in Kent, opened as a processing centre in February this year, for the growing number of migrants reaching the UK in small boats.

Addressing the MPs for the first time since her re-appointment last week, the Home Secretary said some 40,000 people have arrived on the south coast in 2022 with many of them members of criminal gangs.

“Disgusted to hear Suella Braverman say there’s an ‘invasion on our southern coast’. Language like this whips up hate and spreads division,” the Daily Mirror quoted Labour MP Zarah Sultana as saying.

“For Suella Braverman to use language like ‘invasion’, to describe refugees. people who are themselves escaping conflict. is offensive. They know what being invaded feels like. We are lucky that most of us do not,” Clare Moseley, from refugee charity Care4Calais, told The Evening Standard.

Braverman, who admitted to using her personal email six times for official documents, made the remarks days after fellow Indian-origin Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that “compassion” would be at the heart of his administration.

“Rishi Sunak pledged to bring integrity, professionalism and accountability as Prime Minister. Instead, he brought back Suella Braverman,” local media reports quoted Angela Rayner, deputy leader of the Labour Party, as saying.

After questions on asylum centres being overcrowded, disease-ridden and dangerous, Braverman admitted that “the system is broken” and “Illegal migration is out of control”.

She also denied blocking the use of hotels for asylum seekers, which put pressure on the Manston processing centre designed for 1,600 people

“Indeed since I took over 12,000 people have arrived, 9,500 people have been transferred out of Manston or Western Jet Foil, many of them into hotels,” Braverman said.

Home secretary struggles to cling on

Suella Braverman is under fresh pressure over the Channel migrant crisis and security breaches on Monfay – with a Tory MP swiping that chaos in Kent might have been caused ‘deliberately’ by the ministers, a media report said.

The UK Home Secretary is also facing demands to come to the Commons to explain using her personal email to send sensitive government information to a backbench ally, Daily Mail reported.

Meanwhile, she is in the spotlight over conditions at the Manston migrant processing centre, after reports of overcrowding and outbreaks of disease.

Veteran MP Roger Gale, who represents North Thanet, suggested the Home Office actively decided not to book more hotel space to stop arrivals staying at the reception centre too long.

There are claims that officials are now looking at booking individual rooms for migrants to ease the pressure, rather than blocking out entire hotels, Daily Mail reported.

Others MPs have criticised France for failing to stop small boats attempting the crossing, while an ex-borders chief suggested mooring a cruise ship in the middle of the Channel where people can be accommodated.

Concern has been growing over the conditions of migrants being held in while waiting to be processed once they arrive in the UK, and after one of the sites in Dover was firebombed over the weekend.

So far this year, close to 40,000 people have made the treacherous journey from France, crossing the world’s busiest shipping lanes in dinghies and other small boats, provisional government figures show.

Gale said he believes it was a decision taken by the Home Secretary, but is not sure whether it was Priti Patel or Suella Braverman.

Sources close to Patel distanced themselves from the problems, arguing that overcrowding was not as bad before.

“Priti was signing off hotels in the summer – despite how unpalatable it was politically – because it’s the right thing to do,’ one source said, Daily Mail reported.

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