Cameron under fire over 'bunch of migrants'

2016-01-27 19:30
British Prime Minister David Cameron. (AP)

British Prime Minister David Cameron. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - British Prime Minister David Cameron came under fire in parliament on Wednesday for referring to "a bunch of migrants" in Calais, with opposition MPs condemning his words as "divisive" and "shocking".

Cameron was speaking about a visit last week by opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn to migrant camps in Dunkirk and Calais in northern France.

"They met with a bunch of migrants in Calais. They said they could all come to Britain," he said.

Yvette Cooper, who chairs the Labour Party's refugee task force, said that Cameron's words, made during parliament's weekly Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) session, were inappropriate for a "complex and sensitive" issue.

"Cameron very wrong to talk of 'a bunch of migrants' in #PMQs. Divisive, not statesmanlike," she tweeted.

Labour MP Imran Hussain said it was "shocking" and a senior Labour source said it was "entirely unacceptable to a humanitarian crisis on our doorstep".

The quote was also quickly picked up on social media, with many commenters pointing out that Cameron used similarly pejorative language last year when he referred to migrants in Calais as a "swarm".

Many tweets also included poignant images of Europe's migrant crisis alongside Cameron's words and pointed out the irony of his earlier tribute to the victims of Nazi repressions on Holocaust Memorial Day.

"Today it struck an especially discordant note," columnist Jonathan Freedland wrote in The Guardian.

"One of the lessons of the Shoah... is that is all too easy to dehumanise other people, to turn them from human beings with lives and needs and hopes into a problem to be repelled," he said.

"To speak the way he did was beneath the office he holds - and beneath him," he concluded.

Corbyn, a veteran left-wing campaigner before he became Labour party leader, visited two migrants camps saying he wanted to see the crisis for himself and calling on Britain to do more to address the problem.

Read more on:    david cameron  |  uk  |  migrants

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.