POLITICS
08/09/2015 11:35 BST | Updated 08/09/2015 12:59 BST

Tory MP Complains He Couldn't Get A Haircut Because His Refugee Barber Was On Holiday

A Conservative MP has complained he was not able to get a haircut because his barber was a refugee who had gone home on holiday.

Adam Holloway drew jeers from Labour benches on Tuesday when he told the Commons it was "quite possible to be a refugee and an economic migrant".

"We have people in his country who have come here, have claimed asylum, and then they go back on holiday in the places where they claimed asylum from. I couldn't have my haircut the other day for that reason," he said.

The Gravesham MP also said Germany was "completely bonkers" to say it would be willing to accept 500,000 refugees a year as it would act as a pull factor.

A No.10 spokeswoman distanced Downing Street from Holloway's remarks: "The last time I was out and about, there were plenty of barbers," she told The Huffington Post.

Holloway's comments came in a Commons debate on the refugee crisis called by Yvette Cooper. The shadow home secretary and Labour leadership candidate demanded the British government take far more than 4,000 Syrian refugees this year given the "scale and gravity” of the crisis.

"The crisis is now," she said. "Let’s be the House of Commons at our best. Let’s live up to our predecessors. Let’s live up to our history. Let’s live up to the generosity of the country we seek to represent. Let’s decide this week we will do more to help," she said.

Cooper also said Britain needed to accept refugees who had already made it to Europe as well as those who remained in camps on the Syrian border.


Yesterday David Cameron announced the UK would accept up to 20,000 refugees between now and 2020.

However Cooper said the prime minister was seeking to "maximise the headline number but to minimise the impact year on year".

She demanded home secretary Theresa May reveal how many refugees the government intended to allow in this year, not just over the course of five years. But May refused to do so.

The home secretary insisted Britain was doing more than its fair share when it came to helping with the crisis in Syria - including funding refugee camps and helping with education for children who had fled the civil war.

The 20,000 figure was described as "a very slim response" by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who told the House of Lords: "It's likely it is going to have to rise over the next five years unless the driver - which is local conditions in the camps - is dealt with significantly. A problem of this scale can only morally and credibly be dealt with by widespread European collaboration."

The European Commission is understood to be preparing to ask EU member states to take part in a mandatory scheme to resettle 160,000 migrants who have already arrived in the continent.

Migrants reach Munich