Monday 26 September 2016

'He should remember he's talking about people, not insects' - Cameron slammed for migrant comments

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Published 31/07/2015 | 09:05

David Cameron's comments have attracted criticism
David Cameron's comments have attracted criticism
Migrants step over a fence to enter in the Eurotunnel area, in Calais, northern France. Photo: AP

The British Prime Minister has been slammed for referring to migrants as a 'swarm' trying to get into Britain.

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David Cameron made the problematic remark when commenting on the mounting migrant crisis at Calais.

Speaking while on tour in South East Asia, Mr Cameron said that it was a testing time for British border authorities.

"I accept that because you've got a swarm of people coming across the Mediterranean seeking a better life, wanting to come to Britain because Britain has got jobs and got a growing economy.

"It's an incredible place to live but we need to protect our borders by working hand in glove with our neighbours the French and that's exactly what we're doing," he said.

His remarks sparked immediate criticism.

Acting Labour leader Harriet Harman said: "He should remember he is talking about people not insects and I don't think it's going to distract attention for him to just be trying to whip up hostility to those migrants in Calais when he should be sorting the situation out.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage suggested the Islamic State terror group could use the Calais crisis to smuggle militants into the country.

Describing it as a "desperately serious situation", Mr Farage said: "When Islamic State said they will use the tide of people across the Mediterranean to flood Europe with their own jihadist people, shouldn't we take that seriously?

Meanwhile Anti Racism Ireland told Independent.ie that Mr Cameron's comments are part of a campaign to dehumanise migrants in the eyes of the public.

"Using such language shows the racism that informs EU and UK migration policy.

"It highlights the way that migrants are being framed in media and government discourse in the UK and in Ireland too," spokeswoman Anne Mulhall said.

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