A Red Wall Tory MP has hit out over a “lack of political will” to deal with Channel migrant crossings. Marco Longhi’s comments come after immigration minister Robert Jenrick confirmed that plans to use controversial pushback tactics against small boats making the dangerous journey from France have been abandoned by the Home Office.
Mr Jenrick said there were only “limited circumstances” that dinghies could be turned around safely, adding there were “no current plans” to go ahead with the move.
But the Dudley North MP told Express.co.uk: “Home Office incompetence and the lack of political will has meant that pushback has not even been attempted since it was approved.
“Where is his evidence and where is the democratic mandate to suspend this element of legislation?
“We have not even tried it and where it has been, in Greece and Australia, it did work.
“I am fuming about this. I will stand up for my constituents by voicing my anger and disapproval of the minister’s actions. I am yet to see if this is in fact the Government’s position.
“Ultimately I am even more concentrated on focussing the Government on operationalising the Rwanda plan and to close the legal loopholes that allow lefty lawyers to frustrate the system.
“If we can get illegal immigrants to stop trying the crossing we won’t need pushback in the Channel.
“Personally, I would ignore the lawyers. We did when the EU tried to force us to give prisoners the vote back in 2005.
“The people of this country gave us this mandate when they voted for our manifesto and this Government in 2019 – they didn’t vote for lefty lawyers having any final say.
“I shall keep fighting this with every tool I have for the people of Dudley North.”
Mr Jenrick ruled out plans to use the pushback tactic in a parliamentary written answer yesterday.
He said: “There are limited circumstances in which small boats can be turned around safely in the English Channel.
“In view of this, the policy is currently withdrawn and there are no current plans for the turnaround tactics to be reintroduced under defence primacy.”
It comes as Home Secretary Suella Braverman is facing high pressure to get a grip on the Channel migrant crisis.
Figures show more than 43,000 migrants have made the perilous crossing from France so far this year.
The Ministry of Defence said 884 people were detected in 17 boats on Tuesday.