Calais’ Mayor slams PM over at­ti­tude to refugee cri­sis

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Transport Update -

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.

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