News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

World News

Church attacks PM over migrant crisis

by Hannah Tooley

The Church of England has openly intervened in the debate, criticising David Cameron's "unhelpful" rhetoric.

Right Revd Trevor Willmott, the Bishop of Dover, has accused politicians of forgetting their humanity and has also criticised the media for encouraging "toxicity" towards migrants in its reporting.

"Some of those people in Calais at the moment have come from the most horrific situations, where they've been subject to violence; where they've had their homes destroyed."

And we have to say to ourselves what would happen to us if we were in that place...? We're very fortunate in England, we've got freedom," said Bishop Trever on Premier's News Hour.

Mr Cameron was heavily criticised earlier in the week when he described migrants trying to reach Britain as a "swarm" and offered to introduce more secure tactics such as extra fencing and more sniffer dogs to Calais.

Extra CCTV, more guards and more floodlighting will also be put in place.

Bishop Willmott, commenting on Mr Cameron, said: "To put them [migrants and refugees] all together in that very unhelpful phrase just categorises people and I think he could soften that language - and that doesn't mean not dealing with the issue. It means dealing with the issue in a non-hostile way."

The charity, Save the Children, also voiced its disappointment at the way the conversation around migrants had turned, asking people to remember that migrants are human and many are refugees fleeing horrific abuse and persecution or extreme danger in their home countries.

Chief Executive, Justin Forsyth, said: "We are in danger of shutting our hearts to the desperation of the people pleading at the door, refugees not economic migrants."

He added that the country needs to accept and help more refugees trying to reach British soil.

Philippe Mignonet, the Deputy Mayor of Calais even called the PM "racist", and acting Labour leader Harriet Harman said she had written to Mr Cameron accusing him of using divisive language.

Alex, 22, from Ethiopia, spent six months as a political prisoner and fled once released from jail: "It's very difficult to enter.

"If I spoke more French I would stay here, but I will be like a baby, have to start again from nothing."

French police have admitted that it is highly possible that migrants have already made the journey on lorries and trains.

Many of the migrants arrive in Kent and there are new proposals to help the area, it is being reported that over 600 unaccompanied children seeking asylum require care from the city council in Kent.

Listen top Rt Revd Trevor Willmott, the Bishop of Dover speaking to Premier's Hannah Tooley on the 'News Hour':

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email