UK migrant threat 'fantasy' - envoy
The notion that a core British culture is under threat from immigration has been described as a "fantasy" and "b******t" by a senior United Nations official.
Francois Crepeau, the UN's special rapporteur on migrant rights, also appeared to criticise the Government's stance on supporting search and rescue efforts in the Mediterranean to save immigrants trying to reach Europe.
He told the Independent: "The fantasy is that there is a core British culture that was created probably 2,000 years ago and carried on, and now it's being threatened by all those barbarians that are coming to our gate.
"This is utter b******t, but who is going to say this? That is why I think we have a problem with political conversations that we can't have."
He told the paper he was concerned by the rise of anti-immigration sentiment across Europe and even went as far as saying: "If Britannia is ruled by the Ukip, or with Ukip-type policies, it is not going to be cool."
And of the European search and rescue mission, he said: "Not supporting search and rescue operations means letting them die. This is what happens, if you don't search and rescue them; they die. If we accept that, I think we go well beyond the moral boundaries of our political system."
In October the Government set out its opposition to search and rescue operations, warning that they might encourage more illegal immigrants to attempt the crossing. But after facing criticism in the Commons, immigration minister James Brokenshire said the UK would be prepared to offer further support on top of the single debriefing expert already allocated.
An Italian mission that saved tens of thousands of people making the treacherous journey from North Africa was wound up and replaced last month by a European Union initiative focused on border control.