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Port of Calais closed after 50 migrants 'storm ferry'

Published 23/01/2016

Services at the Port of Dover have been affected
Services at the Port of Dover have been affected

The Port of Calais was forced to close after around 50 migrants reportedly made their way onto a ferry following a "shocking breach of security".

As a result, calls for the French military to intervene at the port have been repeated by the Road Haulage Association.

Its chief executive Richard Burnett said while the incident had attracted attention, it was just the latest in a string of instances.

He said: "This shocking breach of security clearly shows that the migrant mayhem in and around Calais is not being tackled.

"This latest episode has made the headlines, but the many incidents of attacks and intimidation faced by our British drivers on a daily basis are going unreported as, depressingly, they are now being regarded as routine.

"It is now time for the authorities to acknowledge and meet our demand for the French military be deployed to secure the port and its approaches.

"I am now publicly calling on government to join my call for this decisive action."

Mr Burnett said immediate action was necessary, warning that it is "only a matter of time before our worst fears become a reality and a UK-bound truck driver is killed".

A statement from the Port of Dover said the Port of Calais had closed after experiencing "migrant activity" which had caused disruption to services.

It reopened more than two hours later, with sailing services starting to return to normal.

At the time of the disruption, P&O Ferries Updates tweeted: "The Port of Calais is resolving a security incident. As a result our vessels are subject to delay of between 90 and 120 minutes."

The incident comes after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn visited the Grande-Synthe Camp, near Dunkirk, and The Jungle in Calais, where more than 7,000 people are sleeping rough amid the mud, wet and cold.

Earlier in the day a protest organised in support of the migrants living in squalid conditions attracted around 2,000 people.

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