Remember When Jonathan Gullis Got Completely Owned By An Immigration Expert?

It may be from 2021, but her arguments are more relevant than ever.
Conservative MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, Jonathan Gullis.
Conservative MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, Jonathan Gullis.
JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images

Tory MP Jonathan Gullis got more than he bargained for after asking an immigration expert why asylum seekers choose to come to the UK.

The former minister quizzed Zoe Gardner over the number of refugees seeking to settle in Britain after fleeing their homeland.

But he was told the international asylum system would “crumble” if countries refused to accept immigrants and expected other countries to take them instead.

The pair clashed in 2021 as Gardner appeared before parliament’s Nationality and Borders Bill committee.

A clip of the exchange re-emerged on Twitter as the government set out plans to speed up the asylum process in a bid to clear a massive backlog of cases.

Around 12,000 people from Afghanistan, Syria, Eritrea, Libya and Yemen will be given questionnaires to fill in about their applications rather than have face-to-face interviews with Home Office officials.

New figures are expected to show there are more than 150,000 outstanding asylum cases.

In the clip, Gullis, the MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, asks Gardner: “If these people out in Calais are legitimate refugees, why are they not claiming asylum in France, Italy, Spain or Greece? Why do they need to come to the United Kingdom?

Gardner replies: “As I’m sure you’ll be aware ... the vast majority of people who seek asylum worldwide, firstly, 86% of refugees and displaced people worldwide, remain in the country neighbouring the one they have fled.

“So, 86% of people remain in developing countries.

“France received three times as many asylum applications as we did last year. People stop as soon as they feel safe.

″But the people who are making their way to England and who specifically wish to the UK, do so because they have ties to this country either because they have served with out military in the case of people from Afghanistan, or have family members, or speak the language because of our colonial history and have other ties of kinship and history here.

″So there are people who have legitimate ties to the UK and there is no good reason why they should particularly have their claims assessed in France if they do not wish to.

“It doesn’t really work for us to say to the French, ‘given that we’re geographically located slightly to the west of you, none of these refugees are our responsibility and they’re all on you’ because France can say the same thing and then Italy can say the same thing, and then the entire international refugee protection system will crumble.”

Gullis is no stranger to controversy, and earlier this week posted his own video in which he described some of his own constituents “savages”, “scrotes” and “scumbags”.

Listing local areas which needed greater security, he said: “In places like Smallthorne where we sadly see scumbags who fly-tip their filth in our community.

″In Cobridge where scrotes deal and shoot up their drugs wreaking havoc on our community.

″And in Turnstall where savages and their anti-social behaviour causes mayhem for local businesses and local people.″


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