RNLI lifeboat lands more migrants including very young children on Kent beach after Rishi Sunak continued backing for barge plan
- The RNLI lifeboat helped migrants ashore on a beach in Dungeness, Kent, today
- It comes after Rishi Sunak defended Government’s Bibby Stockholm barge plan
An RNLI lifeboat landed migrants including very young children on a Kent beach today, pictures show.
On the beach in Dungeness, Kent, migrants were helped ashore by Royal National Lifeboat Institution volunteers and interforce officials.
In one photo, RNLI crew could be seen carrying a young child wearing a red jumper, with a lifeboat the background.
Another picture shows an interforce officer carrying a small girl ashore as she clings to his hand.
It comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak defended the Government’s decision to accommodate migrants on the Bibby Stockholm barge despite a series of setbacks – including an outbreak of deadly Legionella bacteria.
On the beach in Dungeness, Kent, migrants were helped ashore by Royal National Lifeboat Institution volunteers and interforce officials
In one photo, RNLI crew could be seen carrying a young child wearing a red jumper (pictured) with a lifeboat the background
Latest Home Office data reveals the number of migrants crossing the Channel this year has reached 16,679, compared to 45,755 at the end of last year
Border Force officials could also be seen assisting an elderly woman, who was picked up while crossing the English channel from France, as she walked up the shingle beach.
Once ashore, people sat alongside a wall with their belongings as children wrapped in blankets stood and stared.
Yesterday, Rishi Sunak argued the Government’s approach to dealing with the Channel crossings was fairer for the taxpayer than forking out millions to put up asylum seekers in hotels.
Migrants were housed on the barge off the Dorset coast on Monday last week.
But they were removed on Friday when traces of Legionella were found in the water supply, a bacteria which can cause the potentially fatal Legionnaires’ disease.
Mr Sunak swerved a question about whether he was personally warned about potential health risks for asylum seekers on board the barge.
Another picture shows an interforce officer carrying a small girl (pictured) ashore as she clings to his hand
Border Force officials could also be seen assisting an elderly woman, who was picked up while crossing the English channel from France, as she walked up the shingle beach
Pictured: An interforce official carries a young boy after migrants were picked up in the English channel by an RNLI lifeboat
‘What has happened here is it is right that we go through all the checks and procedures to ensure the wellbeing and health of the people being housed on the barge,’ the Prime Minister told broadcasters on a visit to a hospital in Milton Keynes.
READ MORE: Six migrants who died in Channel tragedy were Afghan men, French officials reveal: Hunt for two still missing continues after small boats carrying asylum seekers including children to UK capsized
Mr Sunak, who has returned to work after a family holiday in California, went on to argue that ministers were taking a fair approach when it came to the small boats crisis, adding: ‘But taking a step back, what is this about? This is about fairness.
‘It is about the unfairness, in fact, of British taxpayers forking out £5 million or £6 million a day to house illegal migrants in hotels up and down the country, with all the pressure that puts on local communities.
‘We’ve got to find alternatives to that, that is what the barge is about and that is why we are committed to it.
‘But more fundamentally, we’ve just got to stop people coming here in the first place illegally. That is why one of my five priorities is to stop the boats.
‘We’ve passed tough new laws that, when they come into force, will enable us to do that and we’re already seeing numbers this year that are lower than they have been in previous years. That is the first time that has happened.
‘I know there is a long way to go on this but I’m determined to fix this problem and we are making progress and people can be reassured we will keep at it.’
The Bibby Stockholm will reportedly cost taxpayers more than £20,000 a day, and could accommodate more than 500 migrants in total. Dorset Council has been paid £2 million to help manage the scheme locally.
Once ashore, people sat alongside a wall with their belongings as children wrapped in blankets stood and stared
Pictured: A young child stands ashore in Dungeness, Kent, after being picked up by a RNLI lifeboat
Pictured: Migrants, including two children, climb ashore the shingle beach in Dungeness, Kent, today
Ministers estimate the current cost of housing migrants in hotels across the UK is £6 million a day.
NGO Reclaim the Sea has estimated the savings from the hotel bill through the use of the Bibby Stockholm could be £4,694 a day, a sum the advocacy group describes as ‘trivial’.
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