Priti Patel called on to deliver anti-migrant armada
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The Channel 5 talk show played host to an intense debate last Friday amid Border Force staff being granted immunity from prosecution if migrants arriving across the Channel drowned during their crossing. GB News presenter Nana Akua weighed in with her thoughts, which many Jeremy Vine viewers and fellow guest Jemma Forte deemed offensive.
Akua voiced her support for the policy, claiming migrants should accept the risk of drowning if they were travelling from supposedly safe countries within Europe.
However, her argument drew considerable criticism from viewers during the Friday edition.
Although Ofcom has not confirmed which segment drew the most backlash, the regulator received 167 complaints since Friday’s debate.
Her comments came as Home Secretary Priti Patel announced she was attempting to pass a new clause that would provide officers with legal protection in such a scenario.
If successful, the new bill would make it a criminal offence for migrants to enter the UK without official documents.
The GB News host was in favour of the proposal as she believed it would prevent further illegal crossings.
She explained: “If people have come across from the Channel, from France, which is safe, why would they want to take a dangerous border crossing and then have to be rescued?
“Basically, what often happens is they throw themselves overboard so they then have to do a rescue mission, which is part of maritime law.”
Akua added: “I personally think… look, as long as you know that if you come across you won’t be rescued if your boat sinks, I think that’s fair enough.”
However, Forte quickly stepped in to share her opposing views on the subject.
She hit back: “I think it’s one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever heard in my life.”
Forte called Patel’s proposal a “state of sponsored manslaughter”, claiming it would also be a breach of international law.
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She continued: “To dehumanise these human beings who are coming over… why do they do it?
“Because they’re desperate, they’ve come from war-torn countries, they are fleeing places like Syria.”
In addition to complaints levelled at Ofcom, the debate also sparked an online storm with several incensed viewers taking to Twitter during the discussion.
One user named Ahmed tweeted: “Disgusting lack of empathy for your fellow human beings @Nanaakua1. Thank you @jemmaforte.”
Max Morgan concurred, posting: “Disgusting. Everyone who allowed this repellent spectacle to unfold should be deeply ashamed.”
While J Fitzsimmons argued: “If someone is drowning in front of you and you have the ability to save them, you save them. Every time. It’s really that simple.”
Akua continued the argument on Twitter, suggesting those who disagreed were “supporting the industry of people trafficking.”
While others supported the presenter’s claims and insisted asylum seekers shouldn’t be able to pick and choose which country they feel safest in.
Jeremy Vine airs weekdays on Channel 5 at 9.15 am.
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