Former UKIP MEP Has On-Air Bust Up Over Immigration

22 December 2018, 09:21 | Updated: 22 December 2018, 09:43

The debate over what should happen to the stowaways on a cargo ship in the Thames got heated when former UKIP MEP Roger Helmer talked with a spokesperson for Amnesty International.

The UKIP politician warned that allowing the stowaways on a cargo ship to claim asylum would encourage others to come.

But Amnesty International's Director for Refugee and Migrant Rights, Steve Valdez-Symonds, was not impressed.

Roger Helmer
Roger Helmer. Picture: PA

Four stowaways have been detained after attempting to take control of a cargo ship in the Thames Estuary.

The men were armed with metal bars and demanded the crew take them to the coast, according to the owner of the ship.

On what should happen in these situations, Mr Helmer said: "It is clear that the asylum system has become the first excuse for anybody who wants to come to our country."

But Mr Valdez-Symonds responded, saying: "A small number of people make these desperate journeys because they have no other option.

"If they do arrive here then we should deal with asylum claim they make properly and fairly."