'Been in the job a week': Sally Nugent shut down by Jenrick in heated BBC Breakfast clash


BBC Breakfast host Sally Nugent was told by a defiant Robert Jenrick he'd been in the job of immigration secretary for a week as she questioned him about the current migrant crisis. In a heated clash, Jenrick defended the government's response to the "difficult challenge" as Nugent challenged him about "lack of preparation" on the BBC show.

It comes as an immigration watchdog highlighted dangerous conditions at the Manston migrant processing centre.

Addressing claims on Tuesday, Jenrick explained to BBC viewers how the government plans to tackle the crisis and the safety concerns.

"The main that's happened is that a very large number of people have crossed the channel in recent weeks," Jenrick explained.

"A few days ago, we saw 1,000 cross the channel in a single day which is almost a record number.

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"In the course of a year, 40,000 people have crossed the channel, which is the highest on record.

"And November, historically, has been a month where a significant number of particularly economic migrants cross the channel illegally."

Nugent argued: "You sound like someone who is surprised by this increase in numbers.

"The government was warned there would be an increase in numbers.

He continued: "I would say it is not easy to plan for this number of individuals and in the defence of my predecessors, that our infrastructure in this country is not designed to have 40,000 or more people cross the channel illegally in this manner.

"On top of the work that we're doing, rightly, as a country to support those leaving Hong Kong, Afghanistan and Ukraine.

"This year we see an unprecedented number of refugees and asylum seekers and that puts pressure on sites like Manston, on hotels, on social housing, in a way which is very challenging.

"The job for me and The Home Office is clearly to manage those precedents as best as we can.

"But as country, we need to know it's not an easy challenge to fix it to be straightforward with your viewers about the scale and the complexity we face.

"We need to do more to deter people from making that crossing in the first place."

Nugent pointed out the Conservative government had been in power for 12 years despite how long Jenrick had been immigration secretary.

The MP again hit back that numbers have increased in recent months.

BBC Breakfast airs weekdays from 6am on BBC One.

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