Keir Starmer Brands Rishi Sunak 'Absolutely Deluded' Over Small Boat Crossings

Labour leader and prime minister clash over asylum seekers during combative PMQs.
House of Commons - PA Images via Getty Images

Keir Starmer has branded Rishi Sunak “absolutely deluded”, as the Labour leader and prime minister clashed in the Commons over controversial new plans to stop small boat crossings.

Speaking during PMQs on Wednesday, Starmer rubbished the Conservative government’s record on immigration and Sunak’s past promises to crackdown on asylum seekers.

Starmer said of the 18,000 people were deemed ineligible to apply for asylum last year, only 21 were deported.

And he said the latest government statistics showed “less than 1%” of people who have arrived on small boats had been processed.

“He stood there last year saying exactly the same thing. We said it wouldn’t work. They passed a law. The numbers went up. Absolutely deluded,” the Labour leader said.

In return, Sunak said the Labour leader was “just another leftie lawyer standing in our way” and accused him having “absolutely no plan on this issue”.

The government is proposing new legislation designed to stop asylum seekers crossing the English Channel from France in small boats.

Under the policy, anyone coming to the UK that way will be deported and banned from ever returning.

The prime minister had argued the legislation was designed to break criminal gangs that engage in people trafficking.

But Suella Braverman, the home secretary, has admitted her Illegal Migrants Bill might break the law as it could be “incompatible” with the European Convention on Human Rights.

The UN’s refugee agency responded to the announcement by calling it effectively an “asylum ban”.

Braverman has also been accused of breaking the ministerial code after an email in her name blamed “left-wing” civil servants for frustrating her attempts to stop boat crossings.


What's Hot