While presenting the ITV show, Adil was discussing the government’s failed attempts to fly asylum seekers who arrive at British shores via illegal means to Rwanda with The Times’ political sketch writer Quentin Letts.
Explaining how Ukrainians seeking refuge here were able to apply online while the process for those coming from other countries, such as war-torn Afghanistan, was more difficult, Adil said: “The Afghans do not have an online visa system.”
When Letts tried to say he wasn’t sure if there was a system available to the Afghans looking to resettle in the UK, Adil interjected: “I’m telling you there’s not.”
Looking exasperated, Letts said: “You’ve asked me on this programme, you never let me actually answer a question.
“There are procedures, there are perfectly legal procedures, for people to come in. But what the people using the boats are doing is they’re paying money to scoot around the rules.”
Migrants who arrive into the UK by crossing the Channel are at the centre of the government’s new policy.
The Home Office has repeatedly justified this controversial new approach by claiming the route is unsafe and that the human traffickers who send the asylum seekers across must be deterred.
For comparison, the government opened up several different schemes to help home Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion following intense public pressure.
But, as Adil pointed out, many people travelling to the UK across the Channel are doing so “because there are no legal routes” available for them.
“There are legal routes,” Letts said in response.
“There aren’t actually,” he persisted.
Adil and Letts continued to speak over each other, until the guest eventually said: “I give up! There’s no point.”
“It’s my job to correct you, Quentin,” the GMB presenter explained.
“It’s not actually, your job is – you ask me a question, and you don’t let me answer it.”
“That’s not the point,” Adil continued. “Do you accept that first of all, there aren’t the legal routes, there isn’t an online system like the Ukrainians have.”
“Look, people on the boats are paying money to smugglers to get round the rules.”
“Because there are no legal routes.”
Letts sighed loudly and said, “forget it,” waving his hand dismissively.
The presenter persisted: “You can’t avoid that question.”
“There’s no point talking to you,” gesturing to the other people sat on the GMB panel, Letts added: “Four of you against me, it’s just absolutely pointless.”
At which point the other presenter, Kate Garraway, chipped in: “No one’s against you! It’s about looking at the facts.”
The clash comes two days after the European Court of Human Rights ruled against the first Rwanda flight which was supposed to take refugees out of the country.
The sudden move from the European court has left some factions in the Conservative Party furious, while the government has promised it will not give up on its attempts to remove illegal immigrants to East Africa.