Nigel Farage condemns 'mean' removal of children's asylum centre murals


Nigel Farage has blasted the decision by the Government to cover up paintings at a children's asylum centre in Kent.

The Home Office announced last week that officials would paint over child-friendly paintings at the Kent intake unit (KIU), which houses lone asylum-seeking children.

Mr Farage has suggested the decision - made by immigration minister Robert Jenrick and reportedly protested by Home Office staff - went too far.

The former Brexit Party, Reform UK and UKIP leader criticised the move, telling The i it was "a bit mean".

He said: "Whilst those crossing the Channel should not get four-star treatment, this measure is a bit mean."

He claimed the children arriving in the UK "are just pawns in a criminal enterprise".

The Home Office justified the decision as necessary to deter migrants from coming to the UK, stating the murals are too welcoming, and send the wrong message.

The images painted on the KIU walls are of famous cartoon characters, including Tom and Jerry and Micky and Minnie Mouse.

The Prime Minister's spokesman said the decision to remove them came under the Government's policy to stop boats of migrants arriving in the UK.

The promise to "stop the boats" hinges on making the UK a less appealing destination for migrants seeking asylum, most of whom arrive vulnerable and stressed from war-torn nations seeking a better life.

Children who arrive alone, without a parent or guardian, are often escaping nations where child marriage is still legal practice, such as Sudan.

Others, according to the Refugee Council, are trafficked into the country and forced into "domestic servitude, sexual exploitation and other forms of forced labour".

The Prime Minister's spokesman said that the Government wants to ensure children who arrive alone in the UK are safe, secure and supported.

But they added: "We need to make clear to broader arrivals that if you come here illegally, you will be removed.

"And ultimately, we want to deter people including families from making these dangerous profit crossings which are putting lives at risk."

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