Suella Braverman takes Chinook to visit migrant facilities in bid to grip crisis

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The Home Secretary is visiting immigration centers in Kent as she battles to get a grip on the chaos in the asylum system amid international criticism over her claim of Britain facing an “invasion” of migrants.

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Suella Braverman, who traveled from Dover in a Chinook military helicopter, met with Border Force teams on Thursday to discuss Channel crossing operations and then went to the Manston Processing Center to talk to staff and get an update on the overcrowding crisis.

Downing Street defends Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s use of a military helicopter during a visit to Dover.


A No. 10 spokesman said: “The Home Secretary was in Dover to receive an update on operations on the ground.

“It clearly involved operations in the channel.

“She traveled in a military aircraft to see the area of ​​operations at sea.”

She has come under increasing political pressure over illegal conditions at the site near Ramsgate, where some 3,500 people are being detained for weeks at a site with the intention of keeping 1,600 for a few days.

Government Minister Graham Stuart conceded that the site was not operating legally and “none of us are comfortable with it”, while he also acknowledged that Ms Braverman’s comments were condemned after describing the crisis. “Unfortunate language” was used.

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But he sought to blame “unacceptable buoyancy” in small boat crossings for the problem, adding that “the system is struggling to cope”.

The Home Secretary shrugged off questions from the press during his morning visit to the western jet foil in Dover – the scene of a petrol bomb attack on Sunday – due to a failure to control the number of migrants crossing the English far-right. Channels in small boats amid concerns of drifter activity.

But Chancellor Jeremy Hunt insisted he was ready to “face the music” on the migrant crisis, despite avoiding questions from the media.

Ms. Braverman arrived with a large crew of employees during heavy rain. Witnesses said she spent about half an hour at the facility – where migrants are first taken after reaching the south coast – during which she was shown by Border Force staff and briefly in a docked patrol ship. Got aboard.

She met with the Dover Coast Guard in the afternoon before heading to Manston, where she arrived in a Chinook helicopter to cross the gates before boarding a black BMW vehicle.

Downing Street said she would “talk to staff and get an update on the situation on the ground” while she was there.

During a visit to a theater in Carshalton, south London, Mr Hunt was asked why Ms Braverman was not interviewing during her visit. He replied: “The Home Secretary made several public appearances in Parliament this week.

“He is set to face the music this week and I am sure you will continue to get a chance to ask him questions.”

Meanwhile, a lawyer on behalf of the charity Detention Action and a woman held in Manston has threatened legal action against the Home Secretary over the conditions.

The charity said an urgent pre-action letter sent to the Home Office on Tuesday represents the first action against Ms Braverman around the “unlawful treatment” of people held at the facility.

Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick previously confirmed that the government had received “initial contact for judicial review” on Manston, but insisted that the move was “not unusual” as it pertained to a “highly controversial area of ​​policy”. .

We plan to negotiate similar deals with other countries, similar to the Rwanda partnership, but it is not useful for us to comment on speculation about possible discussions.

It comes as the Prime Minister of Albania accused Britain of becoming a “madness” with a culture of “finding the scapegoat” during a migration crisis, where “failed policies” are to blame.

Eddie Rama hit out at Ms Braverman’s “crazy” language choice in a belligerent Commons debate this week, where she claimed there had been an “invasion of our southern coast”.

Downing Street said it was “extremely grateful” for Albania’s cooperation on the migrant crisis. A spokesperson said: “We have a strong working relationship with them, which we look forward to building.”

He said more than a third of Albanian citizens arrived in small boats this year, with increased crossings putting “unprecedented pressure” on the UK’s asylum system.

The spokesman did not deny that the government was trying to strike Rwanda-style deals with Belize, Peru and Paraguay.

“We plan to negotiate similar deals with other countries similar to the Rwanda partnership, but it is not useful for us to comment on speculation about possible discussions,” she said.

The dire conditions in Manston were illustrated in a letter thrown over a perimeter fence by a young girl to a PA news agency photographer, claiming there were pregnant women and sick captives.

The note, written in broken English and addressed to “journalists, organisations, all”, appears to suggest that 50 families were housed there for more than 30 days.

Asylum seekers were also reportedly left without accommodation after being taken out of the premises at Victoria station in London.

According to The Guardian, the group of 11 people were moved from Kent to the capital on Tuesday as part of a larger group.

Daniel Abbas from the Under One Sky homeless charity said men in London were left “deeply distressed, disoriented, lost”, with “nowhere to go”.

Mr Abbas told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, that someone from the Home Office “held his hand on behalf of the Home Office and said ‘this is a big error, let’s fix it as soon as possible'”.

Mr Abbas said a solution was “found very quickly” and the group was taken to a hotel in Norwich.

The four parliamentary committee heads put further pressure on the home secretary to explain how the government will handle the situation at both the Kent facility and the migrant crisis in general.

In a joint letter to Ms Braverman, the chairmen of the Home Affairs Committee, the Justice Committee, the Joint Committee on Human Rights and the Women and Equality Committee expressed their “deep concern” at the “grave” conditions in Manston, asking what would be done Address the current situation and avoid overcrowding in the future.

Council chiefs in Kent have warned that the county is at “breaking point” as a result of the migrant situation, with the potential for disorder in Manston and the risk of far-right violence.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has described the migrant crisis as a “serious and growing problem” and acknowledged that “not enough” asylum claims are being processed, but insisted the government was holding onto the situation. Is.


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