72 percent of voters think immigration minister Robert Jenrick’s decision to remove Mickey Mouse mural from asylum centre was wrong
- READ MORE: Age tests for migrants who claim to be children will start this year
Seventy-two per cent of voters disagree with immigration minister Robert Jenrick’s decision to remove a Mickey Mouse mural from an asylum centre wall.
Murals depicting cartoon characters were painted over earlier this month at a Kent facility used to hold those who arrive in Britain after crossing the Channel in small boats.
Mr Jenrick was reported to have felt the murals gave the impression the UK was too ‘welcoming’ to migrants arriving from France after undertaking sea journeys.
Refugee charities lashed out at the action by ‘heartless’ ministers, while Labour branded it ‘utterly absurd’.
The poll by More In Common revealed that only 13 per cent of voters thought he was correct in removing the artwork, with 15 per cent stating they were unsure, the i reported.
Murals depicting cartoon characters like the above of Mickey and Minnie Mouse were painted over earlier this month at a Kent facility used to hold those who arrive in Britain after crossing the Channel in small boats
Seventy-two per cent of voters disagree with immigration minister Robert Jenrick’s (pictured this week) decision to remove the mural
The immigration minister last week suggested the murals were not ‘age appropriate’ as he told the House of Commons the majority of people who pass through the centre were teenagers.
Mr Jenrick defended the Home Office’s action as MPs debated a series of House of Lords amendments to the Government’s Illegal Migration Bill.
The proposed legislation was sent back to the Commons after suffering a mauling by peers, who introduced a raft of revisions.
The immigration minister accused Labour of ‘performative’ compassion towards asylum seekers, as he claimed they had not offered a ‘credible alternative’ to Government plans for easing the Channel migrant crisis.
The Kent Intake Unit is among the facilities used by the Home Office to hold migrants who have arrived from France after crossing the Channel.
It is mainly for unaccompanied children who arrive at the coast to be supervised, identified, interviewed and issued with immigration papers.
Paintings of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, as well as Tom and Jerry, previously adorned the walls of a smaller detention room at the centre.
But the Home Office confirmed these were removed this month.
The Kent Intake Unit is among the facilities used by the Home Office to hold migrants who have arrived from France after crossing the Channel. File image
Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper quizzed Mr Jenrick over the painting over of the murals in the Commons last week.
‘Is it true that he gave orders to the asylum reception centre to paint over children’s cartoons? And, if so, why?,’ she asked the immigration minister.
‘Because nobody believes Mickey Mouse cartoons either encourage or deter boats to arrive and they simply think this is the minister actually not showing some common decency towards vulnerable children.’
In response, Mr Jenrick insisted the Government provided ‘very high quality care at all of the centres in which we support unaccompanied children’.
‘We didn’t think the set-up in that particular unit was age appropriate because the majority of those individuals who were unaccompanied passing through it last year were teenagers,’ he added.
‘That does not change the fundamentals that we support anyone who comes to this country with decency and compassion.’
Mr Jenrick also accused Ms Cooper of ‘missing the point’ as he stressed the Illegal Migration Bill ‘seeks to reduce the number of unaccompanied minors coming to the UK precisely because we want to protect them and ensure they’re not victims of people smugglers and human traffickers’.
‘If she wanted to reduce this trade she would support this bill or come with a credible alternative,’ he continued.
‘She hasn’t come forward with a credible alternative and so her compassion is, to a degree, performative because she doesn’t come forward with alternatives that would genuinely support individuals.’
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