Watch as Keir Starmer sets out Labour plan to tackle small boat crossings

Watch as Sir Keir Starmer gives a speech on Labour’s small boat policy from Dover on Friday 10 May.

Labour will use new counter-terrorism powers to tackle people-smuggling gangs bringing migrants across the Channel, Sir Keir announced.

In a speech on the Kent coast, the Labour leader set out his party’s plans to tackle the small boats crisis if it wins the general election.

Sir Keir said Labour will “replace gimmicks with graft”, scrapping the government’s Rwanda scheme and using some of the money saved to fund a new “elite Border Security Command” led by a former police, military or intelligence chief.

Attacking the government’s approach as “rank incompetence”, he dismissed the Rwanda scheme as being unable to provide an effective deterrent and accused the Conservatives of operating a “Travelodge amnesty” by housing migrants in hotels rather than processing their claims.

Sir Keir also stressed his experience as the former head of the Crown Prosecution Service and pledged to make Britain “hostile territory” for people smugglers.