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Home Secretary Sajid Javid to hold crisis talks as migrant crisis continues in English Channel

The Home Secretary Sajid Javid is to hold talks with senior officials on the ongoing crisis of migrants crossing the Channel into Kent.

Yesterday six Iranian men were pictured on Kingsdown Beach after making the crossing and this morning Border Force officers were called to another group in Greatstone.

Since November, 220 people have attempted to cross the English Channel in small boats.

Sajid Javid pictured in Folkestone in 2014 Picture: Tony Flashman FM3474937
Sajid Javid pictured in Folkestone in 2014 Picture: Tony Flashman FM3474937

Mr Javid will meet with officials from the Border Force, National Crime Agency and officials in Whitehall today, after declaring the ongoing crisis a "major incident."

It came after 12 suspected migrants were intercepted off the Kent coast in two vessels.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Javid said: "[The government] will not stand by and allow reckless criminals to take advantage of some of the most vulnerable in our global society.

"The weather conditions are often treacherous and the inflatable boats being used are woefully ill-equipped to make such a dangerous journey.

Suspected migrants were found on Kingsdown Beach (6247366)
Suspected migrants were found on Kingsdown Beach (6247366)

"The migrants who choose to make the journey are putting their lives in grave danger."

According the NCA, lorries crossing into the UK's southern ports remain the biggest threat to the migrant crisis, as opposed to small vessels.

Speaking on national television this morning Dover MP Charlie Elphicke said: "The responsible thing to do is to do what we're doing, which is to provide help near conflict zones."

Mr Elphicke voiced concerns over the potential return of a site similar to the Calais jungle, which was demolished in October 2016.

He said: "We can't have a return to the bad old days and that's why we need strong border security."

Migration expert Brad Blitz says illegal boat crossing have not been much of an issue until now.

He said: "For the most part people who were seeking asylum in the UK arrived by plane.

"What is particularly different about the new arrivals is the mode of arrival, the fact they're being intercepted in the Channel."

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