Priti Patel’s department removes clip blaming EU and lawyers for migrant crossings crisis without explanation

PUBLISHED: 16:50 28 August 2020 | UPDATED: 17:02 28 August 2020

Home secretary Priti Patel in the House of Commons; House of Commons/PA Wire

Home secretary Priti Patel in the House of Commons; House of Commons/PA Wire

The Home Office has removed a 21-second clip which blames the EU and “activist lawyers” for the migrant crossing crisis without explaining why.

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The clip, which appeared on the Home Office’s Twitter account on Wednesday, attacked “activist lawyers” and the EU for prohibiting the deportation of asylum seekers who arrived in the UK without a right to remain.

It was mysteriously pulled following an outcry from politicians and legal professionals, the Daily Mirror has revealed.

Paul James Cardwell, a law professor at Strathclyde University, called the clip “obscene”.

“Difficult to know where to begin with this obscene clip, a day after a young woman died of extreme poverty after claiming asylum and being unable to work,” he wrote.

He continued: “If the UK simply expects other EU states to take back returnees - then good luck with that. Take back control means removing cooperation frameworks. And for a gov that likes passing ever more immigration law, this shouldn’t be a surprise.”

Priti Patel’s department has since admitted the clip “should not have been posted” but stopped short of explaining why it was deleted.

Following a formal complaint to the Home Office, top civil servant Matthew Rycroft agreed the phrase “activist lawyers” should not have been used in the government video.

He said: “I have made clear to the team this post should not be used again from Home Office accounts or anywhere else by civil servants.”

The Daily Mirror also reported that Patel was left enraged after legal challenges had prevented her from deporting 23 migrants.

MORE: Tory immigration minister asks to re-record live TV interview after forgetting which country he is from

Although the department refused to explain why the video was pulled it did say in a statement that “the government’s efforts to facilitate entirely legitimate and legal returns of people who have entered the UK through illegal routes are too often frustrated by last minute challenges submitted hours before a scheduled flight.

“These claims are very often baseless and entirely without merit, but are given full legal consideration, leading to removal being rescheduled.

“This can effectively result in the timing out of a return due to stringent Dublin Regulations.”

It added: “It is right that we seek to remove migrants who have travelled through a safe country and have no right to remain in the UK.”

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