5,000 Albanians waiting to cross Channel on Suella Braverman's first full day in office

As the new Home Secretary begins her first full day in office, GB News has been told more than 5000 Albanians are massing in north-western France, waiting to cross the English Channel in the coming days

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Tackling the small boat crisis is a key priority for Suella Braverman, as more than 27,800 people have crossed the Channel so far this year.

Official figures released by the Ministry of Defence show that 135 people crossed in three small boats yesterday, despite poor weather conditions.

Sources have told GB News that thousands more are waiting for the weather to improve before launching en masse in the days ahead.

Another said that Albanian people smugglers in particular had assembled a large group of their fellow countrymen prepared to make the crossing.

Suella Braverman arrives at Number 10 Downing Street
Suella Braverman arrives at Number 10 Downing Street
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, Kent
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, Kent

One source added: "We understand that more than five thousand Albanians are scattered along the coast especially around Dunkirk and Calais.

"Although they've still been sending boats into the water in bad weather, when conditions improve we're going to see a very significant number of boats attempting to get to the UK."

On 22 August, 1,295 people crossed the Channel in a single day – the biggest number to cross in one day since the small boat crisis began in 2018.

Sources said: "We're arguably entering the busiest few months ahead in the Channel and I think that one-day total will easily be beaten."

Authorities have warned that Albanian crime gangs seem increasingly prepared to risk the lives of people by pushing unseaworthy vessels into the water in less than ideal conditions.

On 24 November last year, 27 people drowned in the Channel, when their boat capsized in French waters.

The new Home Secretary is facing a court challenge this week to the Government's plan to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda.

During the Tory leadership campaign, Ms Braverman said she would be willing to leave the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) if the court in Strasbourg continued to be an obstacle in implementing the Rwanda policy.