Cheers were heard as Suella Braverman arrived at the migrant processing center in Manston, Kent, this afternoon – while the embattled Home Secretary is under immense pressure to get a grip on the canal crisis.
The cabinet minister, who is enduring widespread criticism of her handling of the asylum system, traveled to the scene in a Chinook helicopter.
She was spotted wearing a Top Gun-style pilot’s helmet while exiting the plane.
Upon landing, Ms Braverman was ushered into a waiting black BMW and driven to the main gate at 2.20pm in a convoy of six cars.
Shortly after their arrival, howls, whistles and boos could be heard from the camp.
Two police helicopters buzzed overhead while officers kept a close eye on people on the ground.
Ms Braverman was met by Home Office officials and showed some of the tents that have been set up for migrants.
She also visited the catering facilities and mobile shower blocks.
The home secretary’s visit comes after ministers admitted the Manston facility is not operating legally due to overcrowding and reported outbreaks of disease.
An estimated 3,500 people were still inside the facility last night, despite only having a maximum capacity of 1,600.
Activists are threatening legal action against the Home Secretary over conditions at Manston and the “unlawful treatment” of people being held at the facility.
Ms Braverman’s decision to use a helicopter to get to the centre, a former RAF base, raised eyebrows.
But sources close to the Home Secretary said it was so she could “see the breadth of the coast” that Border Force officers had to monitor as thousands continued to arrive in Britain from across the Channel.
During the helicopter flight, Dan O’Mahoney, commander of the secret Border Force threat, reportedly showed Ms. Braverman locations where small boats are brought ashore.
The Home Secretary had previously visited another migrant processing plant at Dover’s Western Jet Foil, which is 20 miles from Manston – a half-hour drive.
The Home Secretary met with Border Force staff and military personnel in Dover to discuss operations in the English Channel.
Her visit to the Western Jet Foil came four days after the same immigration center was the target of a petrol bomb attack.
There are concerns that the government’s failure to curb the number of migrants crossing the Channel in small boats could fuel far-right activity.
The Home Office today has not invited any media to Ms Braverman’s visit to Kent, although No 10 denied the Home Secretary has been banned from speaking to reporters.
It follows criticism of Ms Braverman’s comments about Britain facing an “invasion on our south coast” earlier this week.
Suella Braverman arrived – in a Chinook helicopter – at the migrant processing center in Manston, Kent, this afternoon
The embattled Home Secretary is under enormous pressure to get the Channel refugee crisis under control
Ms Braverman’s visit comes after ministers admitted the Manston plant is not operating legally due to overcrowding and reported outbreaks of disease
Sources close to the home secretary said she arrived by helicopter to “see the breadth of the coast” that Border Force officials are tasked with monitoring
Residents at the Manston Center gesture through a fence during Ms. Braverman’s visit
At least one tour bus filled with people was evacuated from the Manston site today.
The grim conditions in the center were revealed this week in a letter that a young girl threw over the perimeter fence at a photographer.
Written in broken English and addressed to “journalists, organizations, everyone,” the note appeared to indicate 50 families were being held there for more than 30 days.
It was also claimed that there were pregnant women and sick inmates there.
Lawyers on behalf of the charity Detention Action and a woman who was being held in Manston this week sent an urgent advance letter to the Home Office.
It said the woman – from a non-European country – had been “unlawfully detained by the Home Secretary at the Manston facility in extremely poor conditions”.
The legal complaint also includes allegations of “serious threats to child safety,” the charity said.
The home secretary has admitted the UK’s asylum system is “broken” and illegal migration is “out of control”, with the government continuing to struggle to get its Rwanda program up and running.
Labor has rejected a £120m plan to send people arriving illegally into the UK to the African country as a “gimmick”.
But Downing Street today did not deny reports that the government is seeking other Rwanda-style deals with Belize, Peru and Paraguay.
A No10 spokeswoman said: “We plan to negotiate similar deals with other countries, similar to the partnership with Rwanda, but it is not helpful for us to comment on speculation about possible talks.”
The reports threatened another international row over the government’s handling of the Channel migrant crisis.
Eamon Courtenay, Belize’s foreign secretary, dismissed the “insulting” claim that the Caribbean country could become a destination for British deportees.
He said: “Belize is not in negotiations with the UK or anyone else to take in migrants. The very thought of exporting migrants is offensive to us. It’s not going to happen.’
The government is already locked in a war of words with Albania’s prime minister and the country’s royal family over the arrival of migrants from the Balkan country in Britain.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama has targeted Ms Braverman, accusing her of “fomenting xenophobia” by branding Channel crossings an “invasion” and scapegoating its citizens to distract from Britain’s “failed policies”.
Downing Street tried to ease tensions by welcoming joint efforts by Britain and Albania to stem the arrival of small boats from across the Channel.
“We remain extremely grateful to the Albanian government for the cooperation, we have a strong working relationship with them which we intend to further build on,” said the spokeswoman for No10.
She added that Albanian nationals accounted for more than a third of small boat arrivals this year, with rising crossings putting “unprecedented pressure” on the UK asylum system.
Due to the refugee crisis in the English Channel, 40,000 people have already arrived on the south coast this year.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt today admitted Britain has an asylum system that “isn’t working” and has “become particularly bad in recent years”.
“Look at the number of small boat crossings, they’ve skyrocketed in recent years and we’re committed to getting this problem under control,” he told broadcasters.
Asked why Ms Braverman is not answering reporters’ questions as he is, Mr Hunt said: “The Home Secretary made several public appearances in Parliament this week.
“She’s primed to face music this week and I’m sure you’ll continue to have opportunities to ask her questions.”
Mrs Braverman spoke once this week in the House of Commons.
New Interior Ministry statistics released today show that Albanians remain the most common nationality sought for assistance as potential victims of modern slavery.
Albanians accounted for more than a quarter (28 percent) of all potential victims between July and September.
The number of Albanians remitted under a national framework in those three months was 1,294, which was the highest number since the establishment of the National Remittance Mechanism (NRM) in 2009.
The number of remitted Albanian nationals has now surpassed the number of British nationals, the second most remitted nationality, for the third consecutive quarter.
Between July and September, 1,076 British nationals were expelled under the NRM, with Eritrean nationals (324) being the third most frequently expelled nationality.
Ms Braverman this week warned MPs that many Albanian nationals arriving in the UK are “abusing our modern slavery laws”.
Immigration Secretary Robert Jenrick, who was also visiting Dover today, confirmed last night that a judicial review would be launched against the Home Office after reports of severe overcrowding at the Manston Centre.
Mr Jenrick estimated 3,500 people remained at the facility as of Wednesday night. Its maximum capacity is 1,600.
Hundreds of people have been removed from the site in recent days and Mr Jenrick expressed hope Manston will be “compliant” again soon.
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/uncategorized/embattled-suella-braverman-visits-manston-migrant-centre-after-arriving-in-a-chinook-helicopter/ The embattled Suella Braverman visits the Manston migrant center (after arriving in a Chinook helicopter)