Priti Patel accused of publicity stunt ‘as Navy quits migrant patrols’


Reviews mentioned the Navy, drafted in by the House Secretary in April to assist the Border Power deter small boat crossings, will finish its involvement early subsequent yr except it receives a brand new authorities edict to proceed.

The transfer follows a doubling within the variety of migrants arriving from France up to now this yr, with the whole already above 20,000 and set to high the document annual tally of 28,526 in 2021.

The House Workplace declined to remark, however critics rounded on Ms Patel as they warned that the scheme — billed as beefing up Britain’s response by probably “pushing again” boats to France — had at all times been destined to fail.

John Spellar, a former Labour armed forces minister and present vice-chairman of the Commons Defence Choose Committee, mentioned the usage of naval vessels had been opposed by the committee from the outset.

“It was mainly a PR train by the House Secretary, which wasn’t needed by the Ministry of Defence, which wasn’t needed by the Navy, and made no sense,” he mentioned.

“The picture that they might be pushing again boats was clearly in opposition to the long-standing worldwide regulation of the ocean.” Mr Spellar added: “This was only a publicity stunt by a House Secretary who has totally failed on coverage.”

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