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South coast MP writes to Home Secretary over ‘deep unease’ at migrant crossings

Sally-Ann Hart, MP for Hastings and Rye, said a beach in her constituency has become ‘the chosen destination’ for migrants.

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A view of dinghies tied up at The Port of Dover in Kent following being seized by Border Force officers after they were used in recent migrant crossing across The Channel as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus (Gareth Fuller/PA)

A view of dinghies tied up at The Port of Dover in Kent following being seized by Border Force officers after they were used in recent migrant crossing across The Channel as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus (Gareth Fuller/PA)

A view of dinghies tied up at The Port of Dover in Kent following being seized by Border Force officers after they were used in recent migrant crossing across The Channel as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus (Gareth Fuller/PA)

A south coast MP has written to the Home Secretary citing “deep unease” at continued migrant crossings.

Sally-Ann Hart, MP for Hastings and Rye, said that a beach in her constituency has become “the chosen destination” for many trying to cross from France to the UK.

In a letter dated May 5 and posted by the East Sussex MP on Twitter on Wednesday, she set out a number of questions for Priti Patel.

Ms Hart said: “For several months now it has become clear that the chosen destination for many of these crossings is to land the boats along the coastline at Pett Level, which sits between Hastings and Rye in my constituency.

“This continued arrival of migrant boats is causing deep unease and concern to local residents, especially in the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic.”

She asked Ms Patel about what work is being done with European partners, and what checks are being carried out to ensure migrants are not arriving in the UK infected with coronavirus.

She continued: “I appreciate that among some of those taking the perilous crossing over the Channel there are asylum seekers, who should be treated with the care, consideration and support you’d expect.”

However, she added that she believes the crossings are “clearly” being used by economic migrants as well and called for a “robust” response.

Since lockdown began, at least 598 migrants have been brought to the UK, according to data gathered by the PA news agency.

This is more than half of the entire total for 2020, which stands at at least 976 as of Tuesday evening.

PA