LABOUR shadow chancellor John McDonnell will join celebrities and campaigners at the largest Calais refugee solidarity event of the year, organisers announced yesterday.
Mr McDonnell will speak at the Convoy to Calais rally in London on Friday, alongside journalist Gary Younge, actor Rufus Hound and representatives of the country’s largest trade unions.
In addition, a statement co-signed by the shadow chancellor calling for the Tories to give “safe passage” into Britain to those fleeing war and extreme poverty was published in yesterday’s Guardian.
“The Tory government is ramping up racist rhetoric as it shifts the blame on to immigrants and refugees for the problems caused by its own austerity measures,” the statement read.
“We call on the UK government to give safe passage to refugees and provide sanctuary for those fleeing war zones and desperate situations.
“We condemn Fortress Europe, the EU-Turkey deal and the racism that is poisoning the EU referendum debate.”
On Saturday, a convoy of hundreds of vehicles will take aid to the Calais refugee camp, starting its journey from Whitehall in the heart of Westminster.
Speaking ahead of Friday’s event, Mr Younge said: “Those who claim: ‘We cannot take in the world’s misery’ must, at the very least, acknowledge how much of that misery we are responsible for.
“Many refugees are fleeing wars that we started or poverty that we caused. They need to come here precisely because we insisted on going there.”