Priti Patel wants new powers to curb illegal migrants sneaking into UK and calls for law change

Priti Patel has launched a major push for controversial new powers designed to tackle the Channel migrant crisis, the Daily Mail can reveal.

The Home Secretary has told Border Force chiefs to examine whether they have the legal authority to turn migrant boats around in the Channel – and send them back to France.

If this proves impossible under current law, she is said to be drawing up plans for specific new legislation allowing UK patrol boats to turn back the vessels.

A major tightening of asylum law is also on the drawing board, which will force claimants to lodge all their arguments at the beginning of a case.

The Home Secretary Priti Patel (pictured) has told Border Force chiefs to examine whether they have the legal authority to turn migrant boats around in the Channel – and send them back to France

This would stop them making a series of claims in the courts under different parts of human rights laws to delay their deportation. Both measures are likely to be highly contentious.

The UK Border Force is already looking at what powers it has to ‘turn people around in the Channel without any legislative changes’, a source said. At present, the border patrol cutters are only allowed to intervene when they see a migrant vessel in danger.

If new laws are required to turn back vessels at sea, the way it will work will inevitably be tied into the UK’s final Brexit negotiations with the European Union.

On the planned asylum reforms, a source added: ‘The Government wants to get into the position where asylum claimants cannot continually change their story and keep appealing. This is very detrimental for genuine asylum seekers who need the help of this country.

A major tightening of asylum law is also on the drawing board, which will force claimants to lodge all their arguments at the beginning of a case. Pictured: A border force vessel approaches a small boat carrying 25 migrants in the English Channel

A major tightening of asylum law is also on the drawing board, which will force claimants to lodge all their arguments at the beginning of a case. Pictured: A border force vessel approaches a small boat carrying 25 migrants in the English Channel

‘The current legislation does not work. It’s not fit for purpose.’

Ministers are understood to believe they will win public support for plans which require all reasons for an asylum claim to be made at the beginning of a case.

The maritime measures being pursued by the Home Office are thought to be conditional on securing the support of the French. Mrs Patel has already raised the issue with her Paris counterpart Christophe Castaner.

The Home Office is also understood to be looking at simplifying and streamlining the schemes which govern how asylum seekers are housed across the country.

Currently, some of the schemes involve local authorities volunteering to accept asylum seekers – such as the project for unaccompanied children who have claimed refugee status. Kent County Council leader Roger Gough has called for that scheme to be made compulsory after the number of lone children being cared for by his organisation soared.

French Naval boat seen escorting migrants into British waters unchallenged as figures show 1,600 migrants have crossed the English Channel so far this year

This is the moment a French naval boat escorted migrants into British waters unchallenged.

The Mail witnessed the dawn operation yesterday from a fishing boat 12 miles from Dover on the French-British sea border.

Once the French vessel escorted the 13 migrants to British waters just before 6.30am, Border Force and RNLI boats picked them up and took them to Dover for processing.

Nine men, three woman and a minor were crammed onto the rigid inflatable boat, which came close to sinking.

A border force vessel approaches a small boat carrying 25 migrants in the English Channel as it is handed over by the French authorities to the English Border Force

A border force vessel approaches a small boat carrying 25 migrants in the English Channel as it is handed over by the French authorities to the English Border Force

Once in British waters, one man posed for a selfie with the white cliffs of Dover in the background. Several were carrying phones, as migrants often dial 999 once in UK waters.

The boat was powered by a 25hp Yamaha motor. Insiders said boats being offered by smugglers were becoming more powerful and less ramshackle, although they vary based on the fees of between 1,000 euros (£890) and 3,000 euros (£2,670) per person.

About 65 migrants arrived on six vessels by 10am yesterday after mainly setting off from Gravelines, 16 miles east of Calais. One boat was carrying up to 29 people, while one man even arrived by kayak.

The people smugglers are thought to be exploiting that fact that French boats are mainly patrolling between Boulogne and Calais, opening up the route from Gravelines. With fewer ships crossing due to the slowdown caused by Covid-19, the route is also less tricky to navigate.

It comes amid a surge in crossings, with more than 1,600 migrants reaching the UK already this year. Only about 6 per cent have been returned to France.

Last year, 1,890 made it across.



Another 80 migrants are picked up in SEVEN boats

Border Force officials detained 80 migrants who attempted to cross the English Channel in seven separate incidents yesterday, taking the total number to 1,600 so far this year.  

Around 65 migrants had arrived on six vessels by 10am after mainly setting off from Gravelines, 16 miles east of Calais. Another 15 arrived an hour later, with one man even travelling in a kayak. 

The first small boat was intercepted at 3.31am, when a Border Force patrol spotted three Libyan and Moroccan nationals travelling to British shores from France.

An hour later, a group of 11 males and two females from the Middle East were stopped by authorities and brought to Dover, Kent, where they were assessed to establish whether they had any medical requirements.

Around 65 migrants had arrived on six vessels by 10am after mainly setting off from Gravelines, 16 miles east of Calais, France. Pictured: Migrants arriving today

A third dinghy was stopped by Border Force at 6.35am – with 12 males and one female from Afghanistan and Iran on board – and a fourth was intercepted at 7.45am.

The small boat contained 16 migrants who said they were Iraqi, Syrian, Eritrean and Kuwaiti nationals. 

Minutes later, at 7.51am, officers in HMC Hunter stopped another boat which was carrying a group of four men from Sudan, North Africa.

Yet another small vessel was intercepted at 8.15am, carrying 15 migrants, before the seventh and final boat was stopped by Border Force at 11.13am.  

It was reported one of these vessels – a rigid inflatable boat – had been escorted into British waters unchallenged by a French naval boat.  

At least 1,200 migrants have now crossed to the UK on small boats since the coronavirus lockdown was announced, according to data.      

At least 1,200 migrants have now crossed to the UK on small boats since the coronavirus lockdown was announced, according to data

At least 1,200 migrants have now crossed to the UK on small boats since the coronavirus lockdown was announced, according to data

Pictured: Border Force officials in HMC Hunter intercept a dinghy as it crossed the Channel

Pictured: Border Force officials in HMC Hunter intercept a dinghy as it crossed the Channel

Yesterday’s arrivals were brought to Dover and, in line with established processes, were assessed to establish whether they had any medical requirements. 

None were reported and all have now been transferred to immigration officials, it was said.

They will be interviewed and their cases will be dealt with in line with the immigration rules, transferring to detention where appropriate. 

The latest arrivals come as Priti Patel yesterday launched a major push for controversial new powers designed to tackle the growing migrant crisis.

The Home Secretary has told Border Force chiefs to examine whether they have the legal authority to turn migrant boats around in the Channel – and send them back to France.

A major tightening of asylum law is also on the drawing board, which will force claimants to lodge all their arguments at the beginning of a case. Pictured: A border force vessel approaches a small boat carrying 25 migrants in the English Channel

 Yesterday’s arrivals (pictured) were brought to Dover and, in line with established processes, were assessed to establish whether there are any medical requirements

A border force vessel approaches a small boat carrying migrants in the English Channel as it is handed over by the French authorities to the English Border Force

A border force vessel approaches a small boat carrying migrants in the English Channel as it is handed over by the French authorities to the English Border Force

If this proves impossible under current law, she is said to be drawing up plans for specific new legislation allowing UK patrol boats to turn back the vessels.

A major tightening of asylum law is also on the drawing board, which will force claimants to lodge all their arguments at the beginning of a case.

This would stop them making a series of claims in the courts under different parts of human rights laws to delay their deportation. Both measures are likely to be highly contentious.

The UK Border Force is already looking at what powers it has to ‘turn people around in the Channel without any legislative changes’, a source said. 

Priti Patel wants new powers to curb illegal migrants sneaking into UK and calls for law change so dinghies can be turned around in the Channel and sent back to France

By David Barrett for the Daily Mail  

Priti Patel has launched a major push for controversial new powers designed to tackle the Channel migrant crisis, the Daily Mail can reveal.

The Home Secretary has told Border Force chiefs to examine whether they have the legal authority to turn migrant boats around in the Channel – and send them back to France.

If this proves impossible under current law, she is said to be drawing up plans for specific new legislation allowing UK patrol boats to turn back the vessels.

The Home Secretary Priti Patel (pictured) has told Border Force chiefs to examine whether they have the legal authority to turn migrant boats around in the Channel ¿ and send them back to France

The Home Secretary Priti Patel (pictured) has told Border Force chiefs to examine whether they have the legal authority to turn migrant boats around in the Channel – and send them back to France

A major tightening of asylum law is also on the drawing board, which will force claimants to lodge all their arguments at the beginning of a case.

This would stop them making a series of claims in the courts under different parts of human rights laws to delay their deportation. Both measures are likely to be highly contentious.

The UK Border Force is already looking at what powers it has to ‘turn people around in the Channel without any legislative changes’, a source said. At present, the border patrol cutters are only allowed to intervene when they see a migrant vessel in danger.

If new laws are required to turn back vessels at sea, the way it will work will inevitably be tied into the UK’s final Brexit negotiations with the European Union.

On the planned asylum reforms, a source added: ‘The Government wants to get into the position where asylum claimants cannot continually change their story and keep appealing. This is very detrimental for genuine asylum seekers who need the help of this country.

Pictured: Priti Patel with Border Force Director General Paul Lincoln attending a press conference to update the nation on coronavirus

Pictured: Priti Patel with Border Force Director General Paul Lincoln attending a press conference to update the nation on coronavirus

‘The current legislation does not work. It’s not fit for purpose.’

Ministers are understood to believe they will win public support for plans which require all reasons for an asylum claim to be made at the beginning of a case.

The maritime measures being pursued by the Home Office are thought to be conditional on securing the support of the French. Mrs Patel has already raised the issue with her Paris counterpart Christophe Castaner.

The Home Office is also understood to be looking at simplifying and streamlining the schemes which govern how asylum seekers are housed across the country.

Currently, some of the schemes involve local authorities volunteering to accept asylum seekers – such as the project for unaccompanied children who have claimed refugee status. Kent County Council leader Roger Gough has called for that scheme to be made compulsory after the number of lone children being cared for by his organisation soared.



Face masks and latex gloves are found strewn along a French seabed

Face masks and latex gloves are found strewn along a French seabed raising concerns of coronavirus related littering

  • Operation Clean Sea has been working to clean up the ocean floor near Antibes 
  • In two days they found 14 latex gloves and five face masks littering the seabed 
  • French minister is tabling a bill to raise public littering fine up to €300 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

A mass of face masks and latex gloves have been found strewn along a French seabed, raising concerns of coronavirus-related littering.  

French NGO Opération mer propre (Operation clean sea), had been working to clean up the ocean floor around Antibes in southeastern France when they stumbled on a mass of waste used to stop the spread of the virus.  

In a video posted on their Facebook, the NGO shows a diver drifting along the seabed, before swimming through a floating wall of plastic gloves and masks. 

During this weekend’s operation, the group said they had picked up 14 latex gloves and nine surgical masks from the water, in addition to over 200 litres of other waste.

The group’s founder, Laurent Lombard, who shot the underwater video, told the BBC: ‘These masks – we haven’t had them for long, and we’re going to have billions, so I say watch out, it’s the beginnings of a new type of pollution.’  

Pictured: Face masks and latex gloves collected by French NGO Operation Clean Sea over the weekend at a beach in Antibes 

Pictured: Face masks and latex gloves sit next to beer cans, which were all collected by French NGO Operation Clean Sea over the weekend at a beach in Antibes

Pictured: Face masks and latex gloves sit next to beer cans, which were all collected by French NGO Operation Clean Sea over the weekend at a beach in Antibes

Pictured: Part of the total haul collected by French NGO Operation Clean Sea over the weekend at a beach in Antibes

Pictured: Part of the total haul collected by French NGO Operation Clean Sea over the weekend at a beach in Antibes

On Facebook, the group posted: ‘Knowing that more than 2 billion disposable masks have been ordered [during the pandemic], soon there will be more masks than jellyfish in the waters of the Mediterranean…!’ 

‘[…]I would just say to end that a disposable mask is thrown in the trash like any other waste for that matter.’  

As France comes out of lockdown, the NGO said the government should take drastic measures to ensure coronavirus-related rubbish doesn’t become a new crisis. 

The local MP for the Alpes-Maritime Eric Pauget has already suggested the introduction of a €300 fine for people caught dumping face masks or gloves in public.

He said: ‘Faced with a growing number of offences and the volume of gloves and masks found on the public highway, and when information on the right actions to take is no longer sufficient, strong legislative responses must be made. 

Pictured: Face masks and latex gloves collected by French NGO Operation Clean Sea over the weekend at a beach in Antibes

Pictured: Face masks and latex gloves collected by French NGO Operation Clean Sea over the weekend at a beach in Antibes

Pictured: The total haul of rubbish, which included 200 litres of other waste, collected from the beach in Antibes over the weekend

Pictured: The total haul of rubbish, which included 200 litres of other waste, collected from the beach in Antibes over the weekend 

Pictured: A face mask photographed and collected by French NGO Operation Clean Sea over the weekend at a beach in Antibes

Pictured: A face mask photographed and collected by French NGO Operation Clean Sea over the weekend at a beach in Antibes

‘The government has ordered a billion masks from the French industrial sector and the demand being 200 million per week, imagine what this will represent in terms of waste if 10 percent are thrown on the ground.’ 

France on Tuesday reported 83 new deaths in hospital from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours as key indicators remained steady two weeks into the relaxation of a lockdown.

A total of 28,530 deaths have now been recorded in France since the epidemic began, the health ministry said in a statement. This includes a slight revising down by 10 of the numbers who have died in nursing homes.

The numbers in intensive care fell by 54 patients to 1,555, a figure that had exceeded 7,000 at the peak of the crisis.

French officials have said there is no sign yet that the relaxation of the nationwide lockdown on May 11 has led to an increase in cases.

But caution is urged, with President Emmanuel Macron warning that the epidemic is not over.

The government is to announce on Thursday what measures can be eased in the next stage of the relaxation on June 2.

Cafes and restaurants currently remain closed while people can only venture 60 miles from their homes without a special reason.



British ticketholder wins tonight’s EuroMillions jackpot but must share with a French player

British ticketholder wins tonight’s EuroMillions jackpot – but must share the £33m prize with a player from France

  • £33million jackpot to be split between a player in the UK and another in France
  • Andy Carter at the National Lottery advised people to check their tickets online  
  • Tonight’s main EuroMillions numbers are 04, 09, 14, 21 and 27, and the two Lucky Star numbers are 04 and 06

A British ticketholder has won tonight’s EuroMillions jackpot but has to share the £16.5million prize with a winner from France.   

The £33million jackpot will be split between the two players, Camelot said, with a player from France also pocketing £16.5million.

Andy Carter, senior winners’ adviser at The National Lottery, said: ‘It’s great news for one UK winner who has scooped a share of tonight’s £33 million EuroMillions jackpot – winning an amazing £16.5 million.

Pictured: Stock image of EuroMillions lottery tickets. A British player has won £16.5million tonight in the EuroMillions draw, but has to share the winnings with someone from France

‘Players are urged to check their tickets online to see if they are the latest big winner – The National Lottery results are always available on the website and via the National Lottery App.’

He said that people have 180 days to check their tickets, meaning the prize can be claimed until November 22 2020.

Tuesday’s main EuroMillions numbers are 04, 09, 14, 21 and 27, and the two Lucky Star numbers are 04 and 06.

The two winners matched all of the numbers to take home the top prize.

Pictured: Tonight's winning numbers, which earned one British player a cool £16.5million

Pictured: Tonight’s winning numbers, which earned one British player a cool £16.5million



‘Construction foam killer’ who murdered his children is jailed for life in Germany

Builder who killed his children, aged 2 and 5, by strangling them then spraying insulation foam down their throats is sentenced to life in jail in Germany

  • Laurent F, 56, has been sentenced to life in jail for the murder of his two children 
  • French-born construction worker, living in Germany, murdered the pair last May 
  • Laurent choked them to death by putting insulation foam down their throats
  • He was also convicted of attempted murder of his ex-wife, the children’s mother 

A builder has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering his two children by strangling them then spraying insulation foam down their throats.

Laurent F, 56, who was born in France but lived in Dresden since 1992, was convicted Tuesday of murdering five-year-old Leo and two-year-old Maya in May 2019.

He was also convicted of the attempted murder of his ex-wife Marieta, who was the mother of the two children. He will serve a minimum of 20 years behind bars.

Laurent F, 56, (left) a French-born builder living in Germany, was jailed for life on Tuesday for the murder of his two children in May last year

Maya on the day she died

Leo on the day he died

On the day of the murders, Laurent took photos of two-year-old Maya (left) and five-year-old Leo (right), 

Prosecutors said Laurent killed his children in order to get revenge on his ex-wife after she separated from him and damaged his ego.

On the day of the murders, Laurent had been looking after the children took photographs of them both – Leo sitting on his bike and Maya licking an ice cream.

Shortly afterwards he called Marieta, who agreed to come to his house later that day and bring cuddly rabbit toys that Maya had left at her house.

Laurent then took the children home and strangled them. He then sprayed insulation foam down their throats, sealing their airways.

After that he placed the children into bed, as if they were sleeping. 

When Marieta arrived at the property several hours later he refused to let her see the children, saying they were in bed.

When an argument broke out he attacked her – hitting her over the back of the head with a large stone.

Marieta, who is of Senegalese descent, survived the blow because she was wearing a wig and managed to crawl to the front door.

Laurent then began strangling her until the fight was interrupted by a witness.

Police and ambulance crews were called, but were unable to resuscitate the children. Marieta was taken to hospital.

A coroner told the trial that the children died from a combination of ‘massive, long-lasting compression in the neck area and airway [blockage]’.

Laurent was examined by psychologists during his trial, and was found to be an aggressive narcissist who showed a lack of empathy.

However, analysts ruled he was psychologically capable enough to face sentencing.

Laurent’s previous convictions included rape, arson and most recently drug smuggling when he was caught trying to take meth across the border from Poland in December 2018.

The court heard that his construction business had also run into major financial difficulties, which he blamed on his ex-wife.