Calais’ Mayor slams PM over attitude to refugee crisis
The Mayor of Calais says she is disgusted by the attitude of Prime Minister David Cameron over the migrant camp in the French town.
Natacha Bouchart, pictured, who appeared before MPs on the Home Affairs select committee this week also revealed that nine people, including a baby, had died at the camp since July.
Ms Bouchart said she held Mr Cameron in contempt because he was refusing to take any Syrian refugees from Europe.
She threatened to open the borders if the town did not receive £35m to help it, say- ing it was not “blackmail but a moral obligation”.
In a series of testy exchanges with MPs, she said the offer by Mr Cameron to take 20,000 migrants over the Parliament but none from Europe proved the prime minister was “contemptuous” of Calais people.
She also repeated her assertion that asylum seekers who travelled to the Calais camps were attracted to the UK because of the ease with which they could get a life in the country.
They saw it as “Eldorado” - a word she used at a previous appearance before MPs on the Home Affairs select committee.
“That is why they are ready to die and we have to bury those that die,” she said.
Of those gathered at the encampments, she said 10% wanted to stay in France while the remainder wanted to get to the UK.
Meanwhile Kent County Council social services chiefs say the authority has reached saturation point in its ability to deal with unaccompanied teenage asylum seekers.
Andrew Ireland told councillors that 33 teenagers had to be placed with authorities as far afield as Bath and Hartlepool.
“We have reached, in terms of our ability to place youngsters in the county, reached saturation point.”
For more on the refugee crisis see pages 24 and 41.