Published: 05:45 EDT, September 17, 2023 | Updated: 03:04 EDT, September 18, 2023
Sir Keir Starmer today confronted Tory by claiming his plan to tackle the small boat crisis has “already failed”.
The Labor leader tried this week to spell out how he would try to reduce the number of immigrants from the English Channel if he were to become prime minister.
Sir Keir suggested he was open to a deal with the EU that could see Britain accepting asylum seekers from the bloc in return for being able to repatriate people crossing the English Channel.
In it, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Suella Braverman accused Labor of wanting to turn the UK into a “landfill” for 100,000 migrants from the EU every year.
But when asked about his migration plan during a television interview this morning, Sir Keir dismissed these claims as “complete nonsense”.
Sir Keir Starmer has sought to spell out how he would seek to reduce the number of immigrants from the English Channel if he were to become Prime Minister
But the Labor leader confronted Tory claims his plan to tackle the small boat crisis has ‘already failed’
Sir Keir met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his visit to Montreal for a summit of center-left leaders
Starmer rejects Cabinet minister’s ‘Beach Ken’ jibe that Labor leader has ‘no balls’
Sir Keir Starmer has been compared to Beach Ken from this summer’s Barbie hit
Sir Keir Starmer today shrugged off a Cabinet minister’s comment that he was like “Beach Ken” because he had “no balls”.
Penny Mordaunt, the leader of the House of Commons, this week compared the Labor leader to the character from this summer’s hit Barbie.
She told MPs that Sir Keir was similar to “Beach Ken” as she claimed he “doesn’t stand for it when he’s moving the sand in his flip-flops, staring at the sea and not doing anything constructive to stop small boats or to stimulate the economy.”
“When we examine his weak record on union demands, border controls, protecting the public and stopping small boats, we find that, like Beach Ken, he has zero guts,” Ms Mordaunt added.
But asked about Ms Mordaunt’s comments, Sir Keir told Sky News this morning: “I just think when a government has completely run out of energy, ideas and ability to create or change something, they rush in this rabbit hole of ridiculous insults.”
“For me it’s water off a duck’s back.” I make it clear what I do on issues like border controls, which Labor hasn’t really wanted to talk about in the past, so I speak confidently about the challenges we face stand.
“Unlike Penny Mordaunt, I am focused on the challenges we face as a country.”
Speaking to Sky News from Canada, where he is attending a summit of centre-left leaders, Sir Keir insisted he would not include Britain in an EU program to take in migrants.
Under the EU’s official quota system, member states must accept an agreed proportion of migrants or pay 20,000 euros for each person they do not accept.
The Labor leader said: “Let me be very clear.”
“Because the government has pumped out utter rubbish this week in terms of the numbers they are proposing.”
“There is obviously an EU quota system for EU members. Well, it is obvious that we are not an EU member.
“We will not be part of it.” We are not an EU member. Therefore, what the government says is complete nonsense.
“And even this system within the EU doesn’t work.” I discussed this up here with the EU heads of state and government.
“This plan itself is not working really well.” Therefore, the idea that we will join the EU quota system is complete nonsense.
“We are not an EU member and that was not what I was talking about.”
Sir Keir was forced to clarify Labour’s plans after previously suggesting he was prepared to accept the “quid pro quo” of migrant quotas in exchange for a repatriation deal with Brussels.
“That would be part of all discussions and negotiations with Europe,” Sir Keir said during a visit to The Hague earlier this week.
Ahead of a meeting with Europol chiefs in the Dutch city, Sir Keir outlined his plans to treat people smugglers as terrorists if he wins the next general election.
He also revealed that Labor would reject the government’s proposal to send asylum seekers to Rwanda to process their claims and abandon Tories’ efforts to ban Channel migrants from claiming asylum in Britain.
Pat McFadden, Labour’s shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, used a separate television interview this morning to stress that the party’s plan for a repatriation deal with Brussels does not involve an “allocation of numbers”.
“We are talking about individual cases where a child may have strong family ties,” he told the BBC program Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg.
“It’s not, ‘We take this many, you take this many.’” “That’s not the type of negotiation we want to have,” he said.
But Immigration Secretary Robert Jenrick claimed today that Labor and Sir Keir “don’t have the guts” to tackle the Channel refugee crisis.
In a series of posts on
“Now he is shamelessly trying to deceive the British public that he cares about illegal migration. “He’s not doing it and neither will the Labor Party.”
Mr Jenrick added: “Labour’s ‘plan’ has already failed.” The truth is Labor will not take the tough but necessary measures to stop the boats.
“Sir Keir doesn’t have the stomach for this fight. “His instinct is for open borders.”
Tory leader Greg Hands said: “Labour’s policy announcement on Thursday is now “complete nonsense” on Sunday. “You can’t trust a word Sir Keir says.”