'Utterly Pathetic': Sunak Condemned For Claiming Labour And Criminal Gangs 'On Same Side'

Even Tories were appalled by the prime minister's accusation.
Rishi Sunak sparked an angry backlash with his incendiary tweet.
Rishi Sunak sparked an angry backlash with his incendiary tweet.
Future Publishing via Getty Images

Rishi Sunak has been branded “utterly pathetic” after accusing Labour of being “on the same side” as criminal gangs smuggling immigrants into the UK.

The prime minister made the incendiary claim on his official Twitter account.

He posted a link to a Daily Mail story about lawyers allegedly charging thousands of pounds to submit false asylum claims.

The PM said: “This is what we’re up against. The Labour Party, a subset of lawyers, criminals gangs - propping up a system of exploitation that profits from getting people to the UK illegally.”

He then posted a thread of tweets setting out how the government plans to stop the small boats carrying migrants across the Channel - and accusing Labour of trying to block it.

“Their plan for immigration is an open door,” Sunak said. “But I know stopping the boats is a priority for the British people. And I’m leaving no stone unturned to get it done.”

But the tweets sparked an angry backlash, including from some Conservative supporters.

Former Downing Street adviser Tim Montgomerie said it was “unbecoming from a prime minister”.

Writer and broadcaster Iain Dale said it was “pretty desperate stuff”.

Shadow environment secretary Jim McMahon branded it “desperate and pathetic”.

Shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry said: “What a desperate attempt to deflect from his own dismal failures. Utterly pathetic.”

Others condemned the prime minister’s tactics as “vile and desperate”, “disgraceful” and accused Sunak of “getting in the gutter”.

But some said Sunak’s attack was no worse than Labour’s infamous claim that the prime minister did not support the jailing of child sex offenders.


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