Mark Harper Says He Does Not Regret Controversial "Go Home" Vans

5 June 2019, 21:20 | Updated: 6 June 2019, 12:59

Mark Harper tells LBC he does not feel ashamed over a controversial Home Office campaign aimed at illegal immigrants telling them to "go home or face arrest."

During an hour long special with Iain Dale for Conservative Party leadership hopefuls Mr Harper answered questions from listeners.

When asked about his involvement in a controversial campaign which saw vans with billboards on the side saying "Here Illegally? Go Home or Risk Arrest," the prospective Tory leader said he did not feel ashamed.

In 2013, while Minister of State for Immigration, Mr Harper was responsible for the campaign aimed at illegal immigrants.

"We were doing some pilots of different ways of encouraging people who were in the country illegally, that's the important point, illegally.

"To leave the country in the most cost effective way for the taxpayer."

The controversial Home Office van
The controversial Home Office van. Picture: PA

The MP said "we tried a number of things" but that the vans "didn't work, so we didn't do them again."

Adding: "The message that if you're in the country, that you shouldn't be here, I think is a perfectly sound one, and supported by the vast majority of the British people."

When Iain Dale asked if they were his idea, the prospective PM said he was "the Minister responsible for delivering them."

Mr Harper said that illegal immigration was "not fair" on those people who come to the UK legally.

Watch the whole exchange at the top of the page, or watch the whole interview here.