Caller 'embarrassed by lack of compassion’ towards migrants as PM threatens to pull UK out of ECHR

6 February 2023, 15:49

Caller says she's embarrassed by 'lack of compassion' for illegal migrants

By Phoebe Dampare Osei

One of Rachel Johnson’s callers shared her disapproval of the way migrants have been treated, calling for a crackdown on the people traffickers facilitating their treacherous journeys to the UK.

The UK should “absolutely crack down on the evil nasty criminal people smugglers…but not these poor desperate people,” this caller told Rachel Johnson, as Rishi Sunak considers pulling the UK out of ECHR.

These comments came after reports that Rishi Sunak is considering withdrawing the UK from the European Convention on Human Rights to allow for a tougher crackdown on illegal immigration.

The caller - named Nikki - said: “I’m completely embarrassed by the lack of compassion and such negative headlines for such desperate people that often, they’re just seeking a better life.”

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“You or I would not wish to go on those awful…they’re not even boats,” she added.

“They’re death traps in the most dangerous shipping lane in the world,” Rachel agreed, and they both remarked how risky it was for children and babies to be making the voyage.

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“As a mother, you’d have to be really, really desperate and in a terrible state” to resort to such a journey, Nikki continued.

“I think we agree, Nikki, that we don’t want people getting in those boats”, Rachel replied, but then asked how Rishi Sunak’s reported desire to pull the UK out of the ECHR would be a deterrent.

Nikki replied: “I don't think it’s a deterrent on the individuals” adding that “there should be better routes for those individuals so that they can come over legally” and “a proper safe big boat” to let them come over and be “processed correctly”.

“The Home Office takes such a long time to process claims as well,” Rachel’s caller continued. “The whole system needs a massive overhaul because we do need extra people.”

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak to 'ban Channel migrants from appealing against deportation'

Rachel agreed once again, explaining that the UK has an “ageing” and “obese population” putting “huge pressure on the NHS” and some people do not want to do certain jobs “yet we are turning away people who might be able to fill in”.

Nikki responded saying it’s “not just manual jobs” but “at every level we need more workers”, pointing out the “huge shortages of high-level technical people”.

“We should be welcoming people with open arms and making routes safe for them,” she said.

The UK should “absolutely crack down on the evil nasty criminal people smugglers…but not these poor desperate people,” Nikki added.