GREEN PARTY deputy leaders are to visit a migrant camp in Calais, northern France, today to hear refugees’ stories to counter the drumbeat of hatred pounded out by the government and media.
Dr Shahrar Ali and Amelia Womack will speak to desperate people fleeing nightmare conditions and risking their lives in search of a better life in Britain.
The pair have spoken out over anti-immigrant rhetoric responding to African and Middle Eastern humanitarian crises, often sparked or made worse by the West.
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond defamed “marauding” migrants while Prime Minister David Cameron labelled them “a swarm.”
Ms Womack said: “It is abhorrent that no-one in government has visited the refugees in Calais to meet the people their aggressive policies are hurting.
“This language alienates not only the refugees in Calais, but the generations of refugees living in Britain who have made huge contributions to our society.”
Dr Ali — the first ever party deputy of an ethnic minority background — said: “Too often [migrants] are vilified, seemingly to make it easier for the public to accept ever more brutal clampdowns on a small but vulnerable group of people.
“Instead of building stronger fences, our government must invest in ensuring that people seeking asylum are treated humanely and not left in limbo.”
The BBC came under fire from right-wing newspapers that claimed it is a waste of public money to film a special episode of Songs of Praise in Calais — where Christian migrants built a makeshift tarpaulin church.
The broadcaster countered that it “is a subject of interest to churchgoers up and down the country.”