Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News UK

Furore as Sky's Eamonn Holmes calls for electric fences in Calais crisis

By Claire McNeilly

Published 31/07/2015

Migrants who managed to pass the police block on the Eurotunnel site run towards the boarding docks in Coquelles near Calais, northern France, on late July 29, 2015. One man died Wednesday in a desperate attempt to reach England via the Channel Tunnel as overwhelmed authorities fought off hundreds of migrants, prompting France to beef up its police presence. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Migrants who managed to pass the police block on the Eurotunnel site run towards the boarding docks in Coquelles near Calais, northern France, on late July 29, 2015. One man died Wednesday in a desperate attempt to reach England via the Channel Tunnel as overwhelmed authorities fought off hundreds of migrants, prompting France to beef up its police presence. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Lorries queued as part of Operation Stack along the north and southbound carriageways of the M20 in Ashford, Kent, following a migrant death in the latest incursion on the Channel Tunnel in Calais. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday July 29, 2015. The death comes as some 1,500 people were successful in breaching the fences at Calais last night, and 2,000 stormed the French terminal the night before. See PA story POLITICS Calais. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
French gendarmes try to stop migrants on the Eurotunnel site in Coquelles near Calais, northern France, on late July 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Migrants wait near a Eurotunnel terminal in Coquelles near Calais, northern France, on July 29, 2015. One man died on July 29 in a desperate attempt to reach England via the Channel Tunnel as overwhelmed authorities fought off hundreds of migrants, prompting France to beef up its police presence. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
A migrant climbs a security fence of a Eurotunnel terminal in Coquelles near Calais, northern France, on July 30, 2015. One man died on July 29 in a desperate attempt to reach England via the Channel Tunnel as overwhelmed authorities fought off hundreds of migrants, prompting France to beef up its police presence. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Migrants walk in a makeshift camp known as the "Jungle", in Calais, northern France, Wednesday, July 29, 2015. Migrants rushed the tunnel linking France and England repeatedly for a second night on Wednesday and one man was crushed by a truck and died in the chaos, deepening tensions surrounding the thousands of people camped in this northern French port city. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Migrants from Sudan build a hut at a site dubbed "new jungle", where migrants trying to cross the Channel to reach Britain have camped out around the northern French port of Calais, on July 29, 2015. One man died today as migrants made some 1,500 attempts to enter the Eurotunnel terminal in a desperate bid to get to England, a situation the British prime minister warned was "very concerning." AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Video grab taken from BBC News of migrants by the side of a road in Calais as French ferry workers strike.
Migrants queue for food handouts at the Jungle 2 migrant camp in Calais, France, as the migrant crisis across Europe continues to escalate.
Video grab taken from BBC News of migrants by the side of a road in Calais attempting to board a lorry as French ferry workers strike.
Striking employees of the French company My Ferry Link, a cross-channel ferry service, stand in front of tyres set on fire as they block the access to the Channel Tunnel on June 23, 2015 in Calais, northern France. AFP PHOTO PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Trucks queue up as part of Operation Stack on June 23, 2015 in Dover, England. Ferry workers blockaded the port of Calais in a protest over job cuts earlier on Tuesday. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
French riot police officers take position to drive out protesting French employees (unseen) of the company English Channel passenger and freight ferry company "MyFerryLink", who block the railway tracks of the Eurostar Channel tunnel line, on June 23, 2015 in Calais, northern France. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
People at St Pancras International train station in London, as Eurostar suspended all services due to migrant unrest in Calais.
People hold banners during a demonstration of migrants in Calais, northern France, on World Refugee Day on June 20, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Migrants camp in squalid conditions on a dusty site dubbed "The Jungle II" in Calais, France, as the migrant crisis across Europe continues to escalate.
Train boards at St Pancras International train station in London, as Eurostar suspended all services due to migrant unrest in Calais.
A group of migrants collect donated food in a squalid camp dubbed "The Jungle II" in Calais, France, as the migrant crisis across Europe continues to escalate.
A striking employee of the French company My Ferry Link, a cross-channel ferry service, sits on a tyre in front of tyres set on fire as he takes part in a blockade of the access to the Channel Tunnel on June 23, 2015 in Calais, northern France. AFP PHOTO PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Migrants sit near the A16 highway as they try to access the Channel Tunnel on June 23, 2015 in Calais, northern France. AFP PHOTO PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
A police officer sprays tear gas to migrants trying to access the Channel Tunnel on the A16 highway on June 23, 2015 in Calais, northern France. AFP PHOTO PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Protesting French employees of the company English Channel passenger and freight ferry company "MyFerryLink" block the railway tracks of the Eurostar Channel tunnel line with a blockade of burning tyres and plastic barriers, on June 23, 2015 in Calais, northern France. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Protesting French employees of the company English Channel passenger and freight ferry company "MyFerryLink" block the railway tracks of the Eurostar Channel tunnel line with a burning plastic barrier, on June 23, 2015 in Calais, northern France. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Protesting French employees of the company English Channel passenger and freight ferry company "MyFerryLink" block the railway tracks of the Eurostar Channel tunnel line on June 23, 2015 in Calais, northern France. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
French riot police officers take position to drive out protesting French employees (unseen) of the company English Channel passenger and freight ferry company "MyFerryLink", who block the railway tracks of the Eurostar Channel tunnel line, on June 23, 2015 in Calais, northern France. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
French riot police officers (Front) drive out protesting French employees (Rear) of the company English Channel passenger and freight ferry company "MyFerryLink", from the railway tracks of the Eurostar Channel tunnel line, on June 23, 2015 in Calais, northern France. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Migrants open a lorry in a failed attempt to cross the English Channel, in Calais, northern France, Wednesday, June 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Migrants open a lorry in a failed attempt to cross the English Channel, in Calais, northern France, Wednesday, June 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Migrants wait along a motorway leading to a ferry port to cross the English Channel, in Calais, northern France, Wednesday, June 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Passengers wait to board Eurostar trains at a busy St Pancras International, London, as hundreds of passengers were left stranded on both the English and French sides of the tunnel yesterday as a result of disruption at Calais.

Eamonn Holmes didn't hold back when he gave his view on daytime television on the current crisis in Calais.

The Northern Ireland presenter sparked a social media furore by calling for an electric fence to be put up to stop migrants storming the channel tunnel.

Known for not mincing his words, the outspoken 55-year-old demanded stronger action involving riot police, water cannon and electric fencing to resolve the problem during a discussion on This Morning.

"Why is everybody pussy-footing about this?", he said. "This could be stopped, surely. You send a few riot police, a few water cannon, you electrify the fences."

His frank question promoted several Twitter users to praise the ITV television co-host during a discussion with security expert Will Geddes and travel expert Frank Brehany.

"Well done @EamonnHolmes for speaking up for the British people, saying exactly what we are thinking. No wonder our country is in so much debt," one person said.

Another added: "Yes go @EamonnHolmes the issue is being pussyfooted around @itvthismorning #eamonforpm."

"I'm with @EamonnHolmes water canons #operationstack," wrote another.

One tweeted: "Good on Eamonn Holmes saying it how it is. Why don't immigrants stay in France? Cause France won't chuck money at them!! #benefitsbritain."

Later in the segment, his co-host and wife Ruth Langsford (below) stressed that many of the migrants must have a good reason for being desperate to get into the UK.

But her husband replied: "Does that mean you let them in?"

He later added: "You can stay in France and not be in fear of your life."

Prime Minister David Cameron has branded the ongoing crisis in Calais as "very concerning", but promised "we will do everything we can" to improve the situation.

Further Reading

Calais migrant crisis: Eurotunnel migrants cause fresh problems for French police  

Jungle life tough for migrants from devastated nations  

Brick up the Channel Tunnel to stop 'swarms' of migrants? Nigel Farage suggests it's no joke  

The Sky News presenter from Belfast is well known for making the headlines himself. Last week, This Morning viewers saw Holmes apparently flicking the V-sign at a cameraman in a live broadcast.

The father-of-four was left red faced when his gesture was accidentally captured during a segment about infidelity and quickly caught the attention of Twitter users.

Explaining the mistake, Holmes said it was a symbol used to ask producers to switch cameras and blamed the accident on the way the interview was filmed.

In February 2012, he asked a female sex addict why she hadn't turned to prostitution. In October 2011, he was criticised for telling a rape victim: 'I hope you take taxis now'.

That same month, he apologised to This Morning viewers after using the word 'retarded' to mock actor Jonathan Wilkes during a discussion on a poll which claimed a third of Britons don't know where London, Birmingham and Glasgow are on a map.

Belfast Telegraph

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph