Lee Anderson was embroiled in a feisty row over the deluge of illegal migrants making their way across the English Channel.
He spoke to immigration lawyer Ivon Sampson about the sheer volume of people arriving on British shores in a debate that became volatile.
The ex-Tory Party Deputy Chairman lashed out at the lawyer as he questioned why migrants aren’t “stopping in France” as opposed to ploughing ahead to the UK.
“If you’ve passed through six safe countries to get to this country, I’m sorry, you’re not a genuine asylum seeker”, said Anderson.
Ivon Sampson clashed with Lee Anderson on GB News
“You would stop in the first country of refuge and claim asylum there.
“Why don’t they stop in France?”
Sampson responded: “I can’t answer that question.”
Anderson hit back: “It’s because they are not genuine asylum seekers. France is not at war.
“They’re not being persecuted in France. France is a safe country. France is a welcoming country.”
Sampson hit back at Anderson for “talking nonsense”, arguing that the law defines those crossing the channel in small boats as genuine asylum seekers.
Small boat crossings from France have continued in 2024
The Tory MP went on to speak on his experience at a migrant camp in Calais, where he spoke to young men from countries like Sudan and Eritrea.
“The first guy told me, ‘we’re going to that country for money’, they weren’t fleeing persecution”, said Anderson.
“I listened to these people talk to me and the rest of the Home Affairs Select Committee.
“They were coming for economic reasons. Nothing to do with being persecuted in their own country.”
Sampson hit back at Anderson’s claims, saying they are “just bluster and anecdotes”.
“The biggest pull factor of refugees coming to the UK is they know people here”, he said in a staunch defence of those “risking lives” to cross the Channel.
“They’re not going to claim asylum in Germany or France of Italy or else, because they’ve got family here.”