Robert Jenrick labels UK migrant crisis an 'intolerable situation' as he admits 'radical options' are needed

1 November 2022, 09:17 | Updated: 1 November 2022, 09:47

MP Robert Jenrick spoke to Nick Ferrari at Breakfast
MP Robert Jenrick spoke to Nick Ferrari at Breakfast. Picture: LBC

By Danielle DeWolfe

MP Robert Jenrick has said that “radical options” will be needed in the coming months to tackle the soaring levels of immigration, as he labelled the current migrant crisis an “intolerable situation”.

Speaking with Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, the Minister for Immigration refused to answer whether he agreed with colleague Suella Braverman’s recent comments, after the Home Secretary yesterday labelled the influx of migrants an “invasion”.

“The term that the home secretary used is an expression of the very serious situation we find ourselves in,” said Mr Jenrick.

Adding: “I think you have to choose your words very carefully”.

Continuously swerving questions on the subject, the MP went on to describe the UK as a “magnet for migrants”, labelling migrant gangs “despicable”.

Read more: Suella Braverman 'refused hotel bookings for migrants because they were in Tory areas'

Read more: Manston can house 1,500 people but is currently trying to accommodate for 4,000 people, MP tells LBC

Immigration Minister says 40k people crossing Channel is intolerable

It follows comments from Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale on the migrant crisis at the Manston immigration centre in Kent.

Speaking to Shelagh Fogarty, the MP admitted the centre, which hit headlines after it was petrol bombed, could house 1,500 people - but is currently trying to accommodate for 4,000.

It also coincides with an LBC exclusive that found Suella Braverman 'refused hotel bookings for migrants because they were in Tory areas'.

“I want the UK to be a big-hearted, warm and welcoming country to those individuals," said Mr Jenrick on Tuesday.

“I have to be honest with the public, if we see 40,000 people making this crossing every year, arriving on those beaches and at ports like Dover, it is going to be very hard for us to have the infrastructure to handle that situation.

Minister: UK is must take 'radical' options to reduce migration

Labelling the influx of migrants being rescued off the coast of Dover an “extreme situation”, Mr Jenrick said: “I want us to deal with that in a better way than we are at the moment”.

“I want my enforcement and immigration teams to be working overdrive in the months ahead.”

It follows the Minister’s earlier comments which criticised Braverman’s description of immigrants as an “invasion”.
“I would never demonise people,” Jenrick told Sky News on Tuesday.

Reiterating that the government is doing its best to “try to fix this problem”, the Minister for Immigration said: “We will need to take some radical options in the months ahead”.

Labelling the Home Secretary’s breach of the Ministerial Code in relation to forwarding work documents to a personal email an “inadvertent” one when pushed by Nick, Mr Jenrick stood in support of his ministerial colleague, adding: “She apologised. She resigned. And that is the honourable thing to do."

'Are migrants being detained at camps rather than being moved to hotel

Asked by Nick whether the moving of migrants to other refugee centre locations was because Kent was a conservative constituency, as an LBC exclusive reported, Jennrick said: “No.”

“The people who live in Kent have faced a huge burden as a result of illegal migration.

“We are working to try to disperse individuals over the whole of the United Kingdom, so that this burden is born fairly.”

“There is no politics in that, it’s a simple matter of practicality.”

Adding: “There are no easy answers to that”.