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Nigel Farage criticised over tweet claiming to show 'invasion' of migrants

Nigel Farage has come in for criticism after comparing migrants arriving in Kent after crossing the Channel to an "invasion".

Mr Farage, who heads up the Brexit Party and was previously at the helm of Ukip, shared a tweet with a video of about 12 people – including children young enough to be carried – getting out of a dinghy.

Brexit Party leader, Nigel Farage
Brexit Party leader, Nigel Farage

He said: "Exclusive footage of beach landing by migrants.

"Shocking invasion on the Kent Coast taken this morning."

A charity aimed at improving the lives of refugees arriving in the country has hit out at the politician's statement.

Kent Refugee Action Network spokeswoman, Bridget Chapman, said: "This kind of language is highly irresponsible and shows a worrying lack of empathy.

"The people arriving on our shores are fellow humans who are simply looking for a place to rebuild their lives."

More than a hundred people have been intercepted today alone - with seven rubber dinghies towed into Dover by Border Force boats earlier.

"If we are serious about stopping people making the highly dangerous journey across the channel in small craft then we have to take a fresh approach," added Bridget.

"It's time we worked with French counterparts to find a way for people to have safe and legal passage so that they can make their claims without taking such a treacherous route.

"That would be much better for us as a country as we would know exactly who was arriving and when.

"Shutting the door in the faces of desperate people doesn't solve the problem, it just makes it worse and is not the responsible course of action a country like Britain should be taking."

"It's time we worked with French counterparts to find a way for people to have safe and legal passage..."

It comes as an inquiry is being launched into the rising number of migrants getting into the UK by crossing in small boats.

Minister for immigration compliance and the courts, Chris Philp, said: “I share the anger and frustration of the public at the appalling number of crossings we have seen today. The crossings are totally unacceptable and unnecessary as France is a safe country.

“We work closely with France and I will be in Paris early next week to seek to agree stronger measures with them, including interceptions and returns. This situation simply cannot go on.

“We have to make the route completely unviable. Then migrants will have no incentive to come to northern France or attempt the crossing in the first place.

“We intend to return as many migrants who have arrived as possible. There are returns flights planned in the coming days. And we will also continue to go after the heinous criminals and organised crime networks putting people’s lives at risk. Twenty-two people smugglers have been jailed this year and two more were charged last weekend.”

MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee will look into why the numbers have quadrupled in just two years.

Earlier we reported how one man was arrested after filming a group of apparent asylum seekers boarding a coach.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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