Nigel Farage has criticised Priti Patel for failing to tackle the English Channel migrant crisis, releasing footage that appeared to show another hotel completely occupied by illegal boat migrants in the home secretary’s own constituency of Witham in Essex.
The episode is the latest in a series of Farage Investigates. In one report last month, the Brexit Party leader had uncovered a hotel in the north of England turning away British tourist staycationers because the government was using it to house the increasing number of illegal aliens arriving on Britain’s shores from France.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has reportedly said she was “furious” about the rising numbers and France’s refusal to take responsibility for the illegal aliens leaving its shores. More than 4,500 have arrived this year alone — more than double the 1,890 which came in 2019 — with 1,000 landings in ten straight days this month.
In a video released on Sunday, Mr Farage remarked that despite Patel’s “tough talk”, migrant boats continue to arrive, and it appears that they are being housed “in Priti Patel’s own constituency”.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has been most critical of the crisis in the Channel.
So why is her local hotel in Witham housing illegal migrants?
She is taking her constituents and all of us for a ride. pic.twitter.com/UQHN22EmH8
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) August 16, 2020
Mr Farage investigated the Rivenhall Hotel in Witham after receiving a tip-off from a member of the public. Despite the website saying that it had reopened, Mr Farage tried to book a room online, only to find it was full and appeared to be reserved for the rest of the year.
In his preamble to his reporting, he remarked: “What it looks like is not just the Midlands and the North anymore. The sheer volume of people we’re having to accommodate is increasing, and it looks like hotels in the southern part of England are also filling up.”
On arrival at the hotel, footage showed several men standing outside, while the car park — unusually for a fully-booked hotel — was almost empty. Once inside and questioning whether the building was opened to guests, the receptionist frostily responded that the hotel was full, and suggested he try booking at the end of next month.
As in his investigations on the North of England, a man from the hotel escorted Mr Farage and his team to their car, demanding they leave.
In the car, Farage attempted to use his mobile to book a room in two months’ time, only to receive an error message saying, “sorry, we don’t know when this property will be available”.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 14, 2020
“Not only are they [staff] told not to talk to us, when they do talk to us they aren’t telling us the truth. I thought that it was just the Midlands and the North, because that is where all the information came in from the public. Now we can see that it is happening in leafy Essex, in Priti Patel — the home secretary’s — own constituency. The person who has been the most vocal and the most critical of what is going on in the English Channel. And yet, here it is, on her doorstep, but more significantly, on her constituents’ doorstep.”
One resident, Mark — had previously voted for Patel — told Farage said he was “disgusted” that Britain’s Home Secretary had promised to get the migrant situation under control, but instead has brought it home to the people of Witham. “She’s trying to disguise the fact that it’s happening here,” he said.
“She is taking her constituents and all of us for a ride,” the politician-turned-investigative-journalist later said.
Three-Quarters of Britons See Illegal Migration in Channel as Serious Issue https://t.co/GWxD03nqJA
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 15, 2020
Reports also circulated on Sunday that Ms Patel had said that migrants coming to the UK are fleeing France because they see it as a “racist country”.
A source speaking to The Times said that in a conference call to more than 40 Conservative Party MPs, “She said migrants are coming here because France is racist,” adding that the home secretary gave the impression that she believed it to be so.
France and the UK have come to blows over the migrant crisis brewing in the English Channel, with senior figures in France blaming the UK’s black economy for the crisis and insinuated that Britain’s generous welfare system was a draw to illegal aliens.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 16, 2020