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Senior Tory MP blames government backlog for small boats crisis and says he's 'not convinced' by new migrant bill
29 April 2023, 22:21 | Updated: 29 April 2023, 23:03
A senior Tory politician has blamed the Home Office for the small boats crisis, claiming the government's new migrant laws will not solve the asylum backlog.
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Bob Neill, who also chairs the Justice Select Committee, said he is "not convinced" that Suella Braverman's Illegal Migration Bill will stop the flurry of boats making the perilous journey across the Channel.
April has been the busiest period for small boats so far this year, with 1,850 of this year's 5,652 arrivals making the journey this month.
Neill, the member for Bromley and Chislehurst, said that the "real problem" with the current system is how long it takes for asylum applications to be processed.
He told GB News on Saturday: "We’re not getting a system where people who come in, potentially unlawfully, are being sent through the immigration tribunal and asylum system quickly enough.
“Administrative failures of the Home Office are to blame. That’s happened under successive home secretaries going back over years. The Home Office is not efficient.
"Changing legal tests won’t matter if you haven’t got enough people to do the investigations. I would put more resources into that."
The government's Illegal Migration Bill passed in the Commons by 289 votes to 230 last week.
It will now face a stiff test in the Lords, where traditional party loyalties are weaker.
Critics of the legislation have dismissed it as unworkable, while a group of right-wing Conservative MPs believe it does not go far enough.
Suella Braverman controversially claimed that migrants arriving on small boats have different "values" to British people.
She told Nick Ferrari at Breakfast last week that they are also likelier to have "heightened levels of criminality".
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