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UK: PM slammed for ‘bunch of migrants’ jibe

28th Jan 2016
UK: PM slammed for ‘bunch of migrants’ jibe

By Busra Akin Dincer

LONDON (AA) – U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has come under fire for his choice of language about migrants during a parliamentary spat with the country’s opposition leader.

 
Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Cameron accused Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, of inviting a “bunch of migrants” to the U.K.

 
Referring to a recent visit by the Labour leader to a refugee camp in Calais, northern France, Cameron said: “They met with a bunch of migrants in Calais and they said they could all come to Britain

 

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“The only people they never stand up for are the British people and hard-working taxpayers,” Cameron added.

 
The language used by the prime minister was immediately criticized and called “shameful” by Labour MPs.

 
Shadow cabinet member Diane Abbott said Cameron was being “callous”. Imran Hussein, shadow international development minister, called the remarks “shocking”.

 
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, editor of The Muslim News, Ahmed J Versi, said: “How could our PM call refugees who risked everything to come to safety … a ‘bunch of migrants’?

 
“These refugees consist of families, babies, children who are surviving on bare minimum, sometimes with no food or clothing. The PM has talked of ‘compassionate Conservatives’. It seems the Conservative Party has not moved on,” he said.

 
After the remarks a spokesperson for the prime minister said Cameron “strongly disagrees with the approach Labour are now taking to allow people from Calais into Britain, to open the doors to migrants”.

 
“No country in Europe has done more [than the U.K.] to help migrants affected by the conflict in Syria. We’ve given nearly £1.2bn [to the crisis] and that is going to food, shelter and education for hundreds of thousands of people in refugee camps,” the spokesperson continued.

 
However, Lisa Doyle, head of advocacy at the U.K.’s Refugee Council, said Cameron’s remarks were “flippant” and said the prime minister “should be showing political leadership and work with other European countries to ensure that people can live in safety and dignity”.

 
In July 2015, the British premier was also criticized for using “divisive” language when he told refugees in Calais as “a swarm of people coming across the Mediterranean, seeking a better life, wanting to come to Britain”.

 

[Photo: Prime Minister David Cameron under attack on calling refugees in Calais ‘bunch of migrants’. Photographer: Hasan Tosun/AA]

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