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Nigel Farage erupts at James Cleverly over huge rise in small boat crossings | Politics | News

Nigel Farage erupted at James Cleverly over small boats after record arrivals in the first three months of the year.

The GB News presenter urged the Home Secretary to get on with his job after he took to X to reveal he was doing a charity push-up challenge in April.

Mr Farage said: “Our Home Secretary James Cleverly is a great tweeter.

“Towards the end of last year he kept putting out messages on Twitter or X, as it’s now called, saying we’re doing so well, the numbers crossing the English Channel are down by 30%.

“And over Christmas, oh goodness me over Christmas, nobody has come over the Christmas period for the first time since 2018.

“I did actually respond to that with a fairly intemperate tweet of my own, if I say so myself, because the wind was blowing between 40 and 50 miles an hour every day.

“But let’s have a look at what he’s up to today. Yes, he’s going to do 100 push-ups every day for the month of April. And he’s doing it for cancer charities.

“Now I thoroughly applaud all of that. However, what we want to know from you, Mr Cleverly, is why are the numbers that have crossed the English Channel so far this year up by 43%?

“Yes, that’s right. Up by 43% year on year, and you haven’t said a dicky bird.

“Rather than push-ups David Davis MP suggested you should be focusing on push-backs in the Channel and I say you should simply be doing your job.”

Almost 800 people crossed the Channel in small boats over the Easter weekend, taking the total number of arrivals this year to 5,435.

The figures represent a 43% increase compared with the same period last year and are even higher than the previous record for the first three months set in 2022.

Despite the increase, a Number 10 spokeswoman said Mr Sunak remains confident that he will meet his pledge to “stop the boats”, which he had made one of his priorities for last year.

The spokeswoman said there is “a range of different reasons” for “fluctuations” in the number of arrivals, pointing to criminal gangs adapting their tactics, the weather, and French police “facing increasing violence and disruption” on French beaches.

She added: “We need to keep stepping up our efforts and adapting to the gangs who continually adapt their own tactics, but that’s why, alongside continuing that work, we have to fundamentally break the business model, and that’s what the Rwanda partnership will do.”

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