Latest Channel crossings see almost 1,000 migrants arrive in UK
Almost 1,000 migrants arrived in the UK after crossing the Channel on Saturday, Government figures show.
Huge lines of people thought to be migrants could be seen waiting to be processed at the Border Force compound in Dover, Kent, as a total of 990 arrived.
Nearly 40,000 have arrived in the UK so far this year after attempting the treacherous trip from France, crossing the world’s busiest shipping lanes in dinghies and other small boats, provisional figures show.
It is the highest number of arrivals in one day for a number of weeks, with more crossings taking place on Sunday morning.
The highest number in a single day was set on August 22 when 1,295 people arrived in the country.
It comes after an immigration watchdog said he was left “speechless” by conditions at the Manston migrant processing centre in Kent, and warned the site has already passed the point of being unsafe.
Chief inspector of borders and immigration David Neal told MPs earlier this week that Manston was originally meant to hold between 1,000 and 1,600 people, but there were 2,800 at the site when he visited on Monday, with more arriving.
The revelations prompted the Refugee Council to call for “urgent” action and request a meeting with ministers to discuss proposals for tackling the problems.
Migrants are meant to stay at the short-term holding facility, which opened in January, for 24 hours while they undergo checks before being moved into immigration detention centres or asylum accommodation – currently hotels.
The Sunday Times reported Home Secretary Suella Braverman has been accused of failing to act on legal advice received at least three weeks ago which warned migrants were being detained for unlawfully long periods.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “The Home Secretary has taken urgent decisions to alleviate issues at Manston and source alternative accommodation. Claims advice was deliberately ignored are completely baseless.
“It is right we look at all available options so decisions can be made based on the latest operational and legal advice.
“The number of people arriving in the UK via small boats has reached record levels, which has put our asylum system under incredible pressure and costs the British taxpayer millions of pounds a day.”
Cabinet minister Michael Gove said the situation at Manston is “deeply concerning”, but he denied the Home Secretary ignored or dismissed legal advice.
“The situation in Manston is not what it should be,” he told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme.
“Everyone acknowledges that. We have more than 2,000 people there at the moment.”
The Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to publish the legal advice reportedly ignored by Ms Braverman.