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Senior Tory says Calais refugee charities ‘just as bad as people smugglers’

18 Feb 2023 3 minute read
Lee Anderson. Photo David Woolfall, CC BY 3.0

Outspoken Conservative deputy chairman Lee Anderson has said that Calais refugee charities are “just as bad as people smugglers”.

The MP for Ashfield, who was given the post by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during his recent reshuffle, accused the northern France-based organisations of “fuelling” migrants’ desire to cross the English Channel in small boats.

He told The Telegraph: “You’ve got the people smugglers, you’ve got the camps, the charities at the camps.

“You’ve then got, when you get to England, the hotels, the lefty lawyers – it is one big multimillion-pound industry.”

Mr Anderson claimed that on a recent trip to Calais with the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, he saw “hundreds of young men” being helped by workers at the British Care4Calais charity, according to the newspaper.

He believed the migrants were “encouraged” to make the dangerous crossing by being taught English by the volunteers.

“They weren’t fleeing any war, or persecution, they told us that they wanted to come for a better life in the UK,” Mr Anderson told the paper.

‘No assistance’

Care4Calais, which PA contacted for comment, told The Telegraph that it provides “no assistance – or encouragement – to refugees in Calais and Northern France with journeys to the UK.

“We do not want any individual to attempt to cross the Channel in a small boat, or attempt dangerous journeys by other means (lorries, trains, etc.) as these journeys are life-threatening.”

The charity distributes aid to refugees sleeping rough in and around Calais – many of whom have fled war, persecution and political oppression, according to its website.

A former Labour councillor before joining the Tories, Mr Anderson has been no stranger to controversy.

He drew criticism earlier this month by calling for the return of the death penalty in an interview with The Spectator magazine a few days before his appointment.

Mr Sunak was forced to note that neither he, nor the Government, shared this view.

In the same interview, Mr Anderson said migrants arriving unlawfully in Britain should be returned the “same day” to where they came from.

“I’d put them on a Royal Navy frigate or whatever and sail it to Calais,” he said.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Mr Anderson doubled down on his views, insisting that bringing back the death penalty is “not some fringe or lunatic opinion”.

However, he did acknowledge it would likely never become Government policy.


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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
7 months ago

I’d put him on the front of a rocket it and fire him into the sun…and he better be glad that I will never get power because that, the firing of scumf***s like him into the sun, would be government policy if I were in charge.

Last edited 7 months ago by Cathy Jones
Gareth Westacott
7 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

Yes, I can imagine you’d be a right nasty piece of work – as bad as any Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot.

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
7 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

I would also be glad if you never get power, Cymru would be Western Europe’s equivalent of North Korea.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago
Reply to  Johnny Gamble

Imagine a Green North Korea, reservoirs owned and sold abroad for profit by the Anointed Ones, mountain forests of pine, a farming monopoly and a regimented tourist industry, also for the sole profit of the Politburo. With no need of Traws Cymru or inter-county public transport as no worker is allowed to travel…

hdavies15
hdavies15
7 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

You been getting access to Lee Waters’ memos to Drakeford again, haven’t you ?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

I watched him the other evening, he used the word hope so many times I thought I was at a ‘Band of Hope’ temperance rally.

As for this Lee, I hope Sunak’s East Indiaman is wrecked on the barbs of this most hostile shore…

Llyn
Llyn
7 months ago

And if Lee Anderson lived in Calais he’d be an enthusiastic member of Marie Le Pen’s far-right party. One nation Conservatism is well and truly dead.

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
7 months ago
Reply to  Llyn

30p Lee’s idea of One Nation Conservatism would be exclusively white whilst the one nation would be England.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
7 months ago

30p Lee getting his 30ps worth in when he should dwell on simply being embarrassed to be. For all his bigoted bluster, he will be humiliated when his government fails on one of its’ five priorities, to stop the boats. They’ll still be arriving when he is former MP Lee.

Windy
Windy
7 months ago

The Tory right are in the open they must feel confident enough that now is the time to gradually bring their doctrines into the public domain, it’s normalisation by stealth and the general public have been falling for it for years

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago

Two democracies in a fall into authoritarianism, Modi and Sunak lead the way…

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