Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak pledge to tackle illegal immigration in GB News hustings

The Prime Ministerial candidates went head-to-head on issues involving education, the economy and immigration

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Prime Ministerial hopefuls Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak both promised to tackle Channel crossings in a hustings broadcast exclusively on GB News.

More than 20,000 people have been detected crossing the Channel this year, double the number reached by the same time last year.

And a GB News investigation witnessed migrants clambering on inflatable dinghies on a French beach to make a crossing, with authorities hopelessly stretched.

When quizzed on crossings by Alastair Stewart, Rishi Sunak said Britain must have the power to send illegal immigrants back.

Rishi Sunak said people we must be able to send people back
Rishi Sunak said people we must be able to send people back
Liz Truss called for a permanent home to be found for illegal immigrants
Liz Truss called for a permanent home to be found for illegal immigrants

He said: "I want to move away from the European definition of what an asylum, seeker is because it is too broad and it gets exploited by lefty lawyers.

"When people shouldn't be here we must be able to send them back, it's as simple as that.

“We’ve got to toughen up our foreign policy. At the moment we have a situation, I found it bonkers, we will go to a country, we’ll talk to them about a trade deal we want to do with them, but also potentially be giving them actual foreign aid.

“But at the same time we don’t say to them ‘hang on, you need to take back your failed asylum seekers’, that’s clearly wrong.”

Ms Truss echoed Mr Sunak's sentiments, but stated pushing boats back to France wouldn't solve the issue in the long term.

Promoting the much maligned Rwanda policy, which saw its first planned flight grounded on the tarmac, Ms Truss vowed to expand the scheme to other countries if she was elected as Prime Minister.

She said: "What we need to find is a permanent home for those people.

"The way to solve this issue is to find a way of making sure there is a long term home for people who are involved in illegal immigration.

"The real issue is at present people are able to get on the phone to their lawyers when they get on a plane and evade being sent to Rwanda and that is the issue we have to fix, that is about the ECHR."