15 SEP 2016

Visiting the Calais Jungle

Last week I visited the Calais Jungle. The migrant camp is worse than I've ever seen it. I believe now more strongly than ever that it must be dismantled. I saw a journalist accosted by a migrant, and heard from a Danish woman how she was told to leave the camp because her skirt was too short.

More than 9,000 migrants are believed to be living in the camp, based next to the approach road to the Port of Calais.

One man, from Sudan, told me how he tried to break into Britain every night, only for the French police to return him to the Jungle to try again.

I later attended crunch talks at the Port of Calais alongside Xavier Bertrand, President of the Nor Pas De Calais region, and representatives from Dover Harbour Board, ferry companies and haulage firms. I was shocked to hear first-hand from representatives of haulage companies and the port authorities just how bad things are.

It's important we work with the French to deal with causes of this crisis – not just the symptoms. That means we should spend less time building walls and fences. We need to focus on dismantling the Jungle and helping the people there back to their home nations.

It is vital we protect tourists, truckers and trade from petrol bombing, chainsaw revving, machete wielding traffickers. We've got to target these people traffickers and end their evil trade of modern slavery.

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Charlie Elphicke

Here you can read about local news matters and what I've been up to. You can make comments too. I'd welcome your feedback, so please do feel free to comment!

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