Priti Patel threatens to withhold millions from France over record migrant numbers

7 September 2021, 06:45 | Updated: 7 September 2021, 10:24

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought ashore from the local lifeboat at Dungeness in Kent, after being picked-up following a small boat incident in the Channel.
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought ashore from the local lifeboat at Dungeness in Kent, after being picked-up following a small boat incident in the Channel. Picture: Alamy
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Priti Patel has threatened to withhold £54m promised to France for stopping migrant Crossings as a record number hit the shores in a day, according to reports.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The Home Secretary called a meeting with Conservative MPs on Monday to discuss the Government’s options.

The Times newspaper reported Patel blamed the French and said she was prepared to pull the funding promised less than two months ago if they failed to stop three in four crossings by the end of this month.

According to The Sun she said: “We’ve not given them a penny of the money so far and France is going to have to get its act together if it wants to see the cash.

Read more: Boris Johnson urges France to 'stiffen their sinews' to stop migrant crossings

“It’s payment by results and we’ve not seen those results. The money is conditional.”

Her words come as the Home Office is yet to confirm the exact number of crossings on Monday, but it is understood that it has broken record numbers.

Sunday was the first time in more than two weeks there have been small boat crossings of the Channel because of prior bad weather, with 158 people, including five children, arriving in Dover from four boats.

Watch: 'UK is not being invaded by migrants', charity boss says after record number of crossings

Those arrivals brought the total number of people who have crossed to the UK aboard small boats this year to more than 12,500 before Monday’s landings, according to data compiled by the PA news agency.

Migrant crossings continue amid spell of warm weather in Kent

It comes as witness reports suggested at least 1,000 migrants had attempted to cross the UK channel on Monday, according to Sky News.

It was thought to be the highest daily number since 21 August.

Watch: Iain Dale's fiery clash with Green Party's Sian Berry over Channel migrants arriving in UK

Dan O'Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, said: "This unacceptable rise in dangerous crossings is being driven by criminal gangs and a surge in illegal migration across Europe.

"We’re determined to target the criminals at every level, so far, we have secured nearly 300 arrests, 65 convictions and prevented more than 10,000 migrant attempts.

"But there is more to do. The Government’s New Plan for Immigration is the only credible way to fix the broken asylum system, breaking the business model of criminal gangs and welcoming people through safe and legal routes."

The Home Office warned that the estimated figures had not been confirmed and that boats would go through checks before accurate details were announced.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Jay Slater had travelled to the Canary Islands for a music festival

Jay Slater's mum issues desperate plea after Spanish police reject help in search for missing Brit

Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky has reportedly slammed Nigel Farage for his controversial comments about the West provoking the invasion of the country.

Zelensky reportedly says Farage 'infected by Putinism' as Reform leader doubles down on Ukraine comments

Another top Tory official is being investigated by the Gambling Commission for dozens of bets on the election date.

Another top Tory official investigated over 'dozens of bets placed on election' but denies wrongdoing

Thirteen people have been arrested after a forest fire near Athens which were allegedly started by fireworks coming from a mega-yacht.

13 arrested after Greek mega-yacht allegedly caused forest fires on outskirts

Four men have been arrested after Sebaastian James-Kraan was shot and killed on Templeman Road in Ealing, west London on June 9.

Four arrested in murder probe after 20-year-old shot dead in Ealing on June 9

Starmer labels Farage's comments 'disgraceful'

Farage doubles down on Ukraine comments after Sunak and Starmer condemned Reform UK leader

England manager Gareth Southgate has suggested his team are not fit enough

Gareth Southgate says England squad have 'limitations' after lacklustre start to Euro 2024

Just Stop Oil plans major disruption to summer holidays with private jet stunt just the start

Two Just Stop Oil protesters deny causing £52,000 worth of damage after private jets sprayed with orange paint

Sir Keir Starmer, (L), and Kemi Badenoch

‘We are not rejoining the EU’: Starmer shuts down Badenoch’s claim Labour want to ‘reverse Brexit’

Rowling criticises Sir Keir along with several members of his shadow cabinet

JK Rowling 'struggling to support' Labour over Sir Keir's stance on transgender rights that's 'abandoning' women

Taylor Swift poses with the Royal Family

Taylor Swift takes selfie with William, George and Charlotte - as Prince of Wales spotted dancing away to ‘Shake It Off’

Chris Packham has blamed the media for the radical action of Just Stop Oil

Environmental activist Chris Packham blames media for existence of Just Stop Oil

Starmer labels Farage's comments 'disgraceful'

Farage’s comments on Ukraine are ‘disgraceful’, Starmer tells LBC, as PM accuses him of ‘playing into Putin’s hands’

Timberlake was arrested after having dinner with friends on Long Island

Justin Timberlake breaks silence on drink-driving arrest at Chicago concert

Nigel Farage

General Election LIVE: Tories rally against Farage after Reform leader says West provoked Russia into invading Ukraine

Dr Michael Mosley and his wife, Clare.

‘We miss him so much’: Michael Mosley’s widow says she will continue his work in emotional tribute