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Anger over Cameron's 'swarm' comments about migrants

By Andrew Woodcock

Published 31/07/2015

Migrants walk along railway tracks at the Eurotunnel terminal on July 28, 2015 in Calais-Frethun. Attempts by migrants desperate to reach England through the Channel Tunnel reached a new peak overnight July 27/28, as about 2,000 migrants tried to enter the Eurotunnel terminal in the French port town of Calais, northern France. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Migrants walk along railway tracks at the Eurotunnel terminal on July 28, 2015 in Calais-Frethun. Attempts by migrants desperate to reach England through the Channel Tunnel reached a new peak overnight July 27/28, as about 2,000 migrants tried to enter the Eurotunnel terminal in the French port town of Calais, northern France. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Migrants walk along a road near the Eurotunnel terminal to try to climb in a shuttle heading to Great Britain, on July 28, 2015 in Frethun, northern France. About 2,000 migrants tried to enter the Eurotunnel terminal in the French port town of Calais overnight in a desperate bid to reach England through the Channel tunnel, a spokesman said July 28. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Migrants who successfully crossed the Eurotunnel terminal walk on the side of the railroad as they try to reach a shuttle to Great Britain, on July 28, 2015 in Frethun, northern France. About 2,000 migrants tried to enter the Eurotunnel terminal in the French port town of Calais overnight in a desperate bid to reach England through the Channel tunnel, a spokesman said July 28. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Migrants who successfully crossed the Eurotunnel terminal walk on the side of the railroad as they try to reach a shuttle to Great Britain, on July 28, 2015 in Frethun, northern France. About 2,000 migrants tried to enter the Eurotunnel terminal in the French port town of Calais overnight in a desperate bid to reach England through the Channel tunnel, a spokesman said July 28. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images

David Cameron has come under fire after describing migrants trying to reach Britain as a "swarm".

The comment was branded "disgraceful" by Labour leadership candidate Andy Burnham, while Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: "We are talking about human beings here, not insects."

The Prime Minister used the emotive term as he discussed measures being taken to deal with chaotic scenes at Calais, where large numbers of migrants living in a tent city have attempted to enter the Channel Tunnel.

Speaking on a visit to Vietnam, Mr Cameron told ITV News that the problem had become worse in recent months because "you have got a swarm of people coming across the Mediterranean, seeking a better life, wanting to come to Britain".

Last October, the PM said ministers should "choose our language carefully" on immigration, after Defence Secretary Michael Fallon suggested some towns were being "swamped" by migrant workers.

Downing Street defended his comments today, telling reporters: "It was clear that he was talking about people who are seeking a better life. It was clearly talking about people."

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