Adil Ray is standing by his comments about Priti Patel (Picture: Rex/PA)
Good Morning Britain’s Adil Ray has faced a backlash from Conservative MPs for questioning Priti Patel appearing at a raid of alleged people smugglers, but he’s standing by his comments.
The presenter had hit out at the Home Secretary for ‘posing for a photo opp’ while out at an operation where two suspected ringleaders of an alleged people-smuggling gang were arrested.
They had been apprehended for supposedly using minicab and lorry drivers to transport migrants in and out of the UK illegally.
On Thursday morning, Adil wrote: ‘Priti Patel’s parents & mine were told to leave Uganda & Kenya, in some cases to save their lives. After much protest (at one point they wanted to dump them on the Falklands) UK let them in. To think years later a daughter of that generation would pose for a photo opp like this.’
When asked by a Twitter user if he shared his tweet ‘knowing the full facts regarding this particular operation’, Adil replied: ‘Yes I have.’
Many Conservative MPs criticised Adil for hist post, with pensions minister Guy Opperman branding it ‘utterly misleading’.
‘The Home Sec @pritipatel was attending the arrest of a suspected leader of a people smuggling gang,’ he wrote.
‘I prosecuted these people pre 2010 – they are proper villains. As an ancestor of recent migrants I fully support her action.’
He added: ‘I, for one, want law enforcement cracking down on people traffickers who exploit the most vulnerable.’
Priti Patel during a National Crime Agency operation at address in east London (Picture: PA)
Simon Clarke, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland added: ‘This is deeply misleading and it would be shameful to leave this tweet up in knowledge of the fact this was in fact a Police raid on a suspected people smuggling gang, who profit from misery.’
Chris Philp, MP for Corydon South, scorned: ‘This arrest is being made for suspected people smuggling. Is Mr Ray suggesting we should not arrest people smugglers who endanger lives and undermine border control?
‘The public expect immigration laws to be enforced, and criminal people smugglers to be arrested. We will do that.’
However, Adil clapped back at each message, writing: ‘In the Home Secretary’s own words this is a “new plan for immigration”.
‘A new plan should involve reopening legal routes for migrants and asylum seekers who travel here, which is their right. So they don’t become victims of “smugglers”. The photo is designed to demonise migrants.’