WATCH | “When are we going to send the boats straight back?” Tory MP slams Boris

A Conservative backbench MP has called on Boris Johnson’s administration to ramp up its response to the ongoing migrant crisis in the English Channel by sending illegal immigrants straight back to the European mainland.

Lee Anderson, the Tory MP for Ashfield, asked the prime minister during PMQs in the Commons on Wednesday at what point the government will directly address the ever-growing issue of illegal immigration, after more than 1,000 undocumented migrants reached Britain’s shores in a new record on Monday.


“We have thousands, thousands of illegal immigrants arriving on our shores every single month!” Anderson raged in the chamber, asking the prime minister: “When are we going to take some direct action and send the boats straight back?”

Mr Johnson expressed his sympathy with the situation and pledged the government will use “every possible tactic” to get a grip of the crisis but stopped short of confirming exactly what those tactics might be.

“I share the indignation and the frustration of my honourable friend at the cruel behaviour of the gangsters, the criminal masterminds who are taking money from desperate, frightened people to help them take a very, very dangerous journey across the Channel,” the prime minister told the Commons in response.


“This is a perennial problem that the Home Secretary is dealing with in the best possible way which is to make sure that they don’t leave those French shores. We depend to a large extent on what the French are doing but clearly, as time goes on and this problem continues, we are going to have to make sure that we use every possible tactic at our disposal to stop what I think is a vile trade and a manipulation of people’s hopes.”

Despite the Home Secretary’s pledge to crack down on illegal immigration, the numbers have soared this year with over 14,000 illegal migrants reaching Britain so far via the Channel with many more waiting in Calais to embark on the journey.

Priti Patel has recently threatened to withhold money promised to the French authorities in exchange for preventing migrant crossings, with LBC host Nick Ferrari doing the sums during his radio show on Tuesday and revealing to listeners that the British taxpayer has so far paid £30,000 per migrant stopped by the French.

The Home Office is coming under considerable scrutiny following its abject performance to date in dealing with the problem, so much so that the Times newspaper was reporting on Wednesday morning that Ms Patel may be a casualty of a rumoured cabinet reshuffle in the near future, with the prime candidate to take over the role being one Michael Gove.