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CAMPAIGNERS have accused Sir Keir Starmer of mirroring Home Secretary Priti Patel’s “dehumanising” language on refugee boat crossings.
Members of campaign group Another Europe is Possible have written to the Labour leader expressing “deep disappointment” over comments he made to the BBC last week.
During the programme, Sir Keir accused Ms Patel of failing to deliver on promises to stop small boats making the dangerous crossing, adding: "We have not had strong enough agreements with France on this.”
Highlighting Sir Keir’s past pledge to “put human rights at the heart of foreign policy,” the letter urges the Labour leader to challenge the “xenophobic stance” of the government, and call for safe and legal routes for refugees to Britain.
“In criticising the government only for its failure to implement its regressive policies with sufficient vigour, you have further entrenched the idea that migrants themselves are a problem — and not the government’s callous and cruel approach to migration policy,” the letter said.
Labour has called for safe routes to Britain, this week criticising the government for whittling down official resettlement routes to the country.
However shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds also called for more surveillance in the Channel today.
He said that Labour’s policy would go “beyond just coastal patrols to engage in proper joint law enforcement, working with the French authorities and other countries to tackle these vile people smuggling gangs upstream.”
Momentum national secretary Sonali Bhattacharyya said: "The Labour Party leadership's apparent capitulation to the hard right racism of the Home Office is a reckless dereliction of duty.
“The only ‘push back’ we need is against the state sponsored racism that has cost tens of lives this week, and destroyed untold more. Migration is a human right.”
The Labour Party was approached for comment.
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