Boris banks on Barclay to stem flow of migrants 

NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay heads up new plan to tackle migrants crossing the Channel. 

NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay will head up new plan to tackle migrants crossing the Channel. - Credit: STEVE BARCLAY

Boris Johnson has drafted in NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay to oversee the rising number of migrants arriving on Britain's shores. 

The Times reported that the PM was "exasperated" with the issue following a number of strategies to stem the flow. 

Mr Barclay will chair the first meeting of the group early this week after hundreds of people, including very young children, made the dangerous Channel crossing to the UK over the weekend, according to the Daily Telegraph. 

The Prime Minister is said to be considering strategies including housing asylum seekers in Army barracks rather than hotels as the Government faces criticism over the migrant crisis. 

Some previously reported plans including the use of giant wave machines to prevent migrant crossings, nets to snare boat propellers, and floating walls in the sea. 

However, these were "never considered", Dan O'Mahoney, the Home Office's Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, told the Home Affairs Select Committee. 

On the wave machine idea, he said: "I think it's a bizarre idea." 

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And he described a number of the ideas that made their way into the headlines as "fanciful". 

But the move to bring in Mr Barclay, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, could be seen as an admission that Home Secretary Priti Patel has not managed to tackle the issue. 

It comes after Sir Keir Starmer accused Ms Patel of failing to deliver on promises to stem the flow of illegal migrants crossing the Channel. 

The Labour leader said Ms Patel has not secured strong enough agreements with the French government to prevent migrants making the dangerous sea journey. 

He said the Home Secretary repeatedly used "strong language" to say how she would tackle the problem, but delivered "absolutely nothing". 

His attack came as Ms Patel blamed the EU's open borders - established by the Schengen Agreement - for failing to check the movement of people through the bloc. 

More than 24,700 people have arrived in the UK so far this year after making the Channel crossing in small boats - almost three times the number there were in 2020. 

It is thought at least 10 migrants have died in the last few weeks while trying to make the dangerous crossing.