Bishop goes toe-to-toe with caller over refugee crisis

8 August 2020, 16:24

By Seán Hickey

This caller insisted that migrants crossing the Channel to the UK aren't desperate, despite a Bishop telling LBC how these people find themselves in a dire situation.

Bishop Stephen Lowe is a former adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury and was speaking to Ian Payne about the migrant crisis after over 200 people were intercepted crossing the English Channel in one day.

Paul phoned in from Liverpool to challenge the arguments of the Bishop, who called for Brits to be compassionate towards people making the perilous journey across the Channel as they flee war and famine in their own country.

"How do you make out these people are desperate," he asked Bishop Lowe. The Bishop maintained that you'd have to be desperate if you're crossing one of the busiest shipping routes in the world in a rubber dinghy.

Paul kept the pressure up, asking Bishop Lowe "what do they get here that France doesn't give them," to which the Bishop countered that people have "friends and relatives and so on that they know," referencing the large Iraqi and Syrian communities in the UK.

The Bishop and the caller locked horns over the refugee crisis
The Bishop and the caller locked horns over the refugee crisis. Picture: PA

Ian stepped in momentarily, asking Paul what would he do." He insisted that he wouldn't have a problem with refugees if "they weren't given close to four star hotels to stay in."

"They should be processed in the place they've stayed the longest in," he added. Challenged on the hotel remark, Paul said that he has witnessed migrants being housed in hotels in Chester.

"300 miles from the port?" Bishop Lowe quipped. Paul insisted the Bishop did his homework on the subject.

Paul added that he has housed refugees in the past, to which Ian replied "I thought you'd have more sympathy." The caller said that he has sympathy for those fleeing war and famine, but not economic migrants.

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