Minister Says Migrants Have A 'Bit Of Cheek' To Complain About Conditions

It comes after reports of diphtheria, scabies and MRSA had been found at a migrant processing facility.
Policing minister Chris Philp.
Policing minister Chris Philp.
OLI SCARFF via Getty Images

A minister risked another row today after he said migrants have “a bit of a cheek” to complain about the conditions in which they are kept.

Policing minister Chris Philp suggested migrants were being unreasonable in raising concerns given that they entered the UK “illegally”.

He told Times Radio: “If people choose to enter a country illegally and unnecessarily, it is a bit of a cheek to then start complaining about the conditions when you’ve illegally entered the country without necessity.

“They didn’t have to come here. They were in France already and previously often passed through Belgium, Germany, and many other countries on the way.

“So we’re doing our best but the numbers are just overwhelming and that’s why we need to do more work with the French government to stop these crossings.”

Philp said migrants were entering in “enormous numbers” and were “mostly single young men”.

It comes after reports of diphtheria, scabies and MRSA had been found at migrant processing facility Manston.

Philp added: “That’s why urgent improvements are being made and I know Robert Jenrick the immigration minister has been down there, I think at least once, possibly twice, this week, and significant improvements are being made.

“A lot of people have been moved out, the numbers in that Manston facility have reduced dramatically in the course of the last week or so.”

Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael said Philp’s comments revealed a “shocking and callous complacency” over Manston.

“It is unbelievable that as we hear reports of sexual assualts, disease, and chronic overcrowding, his response is to accuse those who complain of ‘cheek’,” Carmichael added.

It comes after home secretary Suella Braverman sparked a number of rows with foreign nations over her plans to deport migrants.

Yesterday, Belize’s foreign affairs minister Eamon Courtenay slapped down Braverman over reports that his country was working with the UK to accept migrants.

He slammed the home secretary for her migrant plans, saying they were “inhumane”.

Secretary of State for the Home Department Suella Braverman.
Secretary of State for the Home Department Suella Braverman.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

It follows reports in The Express that the home office is in talks with a number of new nations on deportation deals.

The newspaper claimed that home secretary Braverman was pushing talks for alternatives to the failed Rwanda plan with Paraguay, Peru, Belize and an African country.

This is despite the controversial deal to deport migrants to Rwanda costing millions of pounds and failing to get off the ground.

It was the second government she upset in two days over her handling of the UK’s migrant crisis.

On Wednesday the prime minister of Albania launched a blistering attack on Braverman over comments she had made about his citizens.

Edi Rama accused her of “discriminating” against Albanians in an extraordinary diplomatic row.

Albania’s Crown Prince Leka II also hit out, accusing the UK of “demonizing us for your own internal political benefits”.

It comes after Braverman told the Commons on Monday: “If Labour were in charge they would be allowing all the Albanian criminals to come to this country, they would be allowing all the small boats to come to the UK, they would open our borders and totally undermine the trust of the British people in controlling our sovereignty.”

The row broke out as it was reported that immigration minister Robert Jenrick was due to travel to Albania within the next fortnight.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak hopes to agree a deal with the Balkan country that would enable Albanian migrants who cross the Channel in small boats to be deported within days of arrival.


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