UK to take in a 'few hundred' more children from Calais camp

The Home Secretary has told ITV News that the UK will take in "a few hundred" more children from the now dismantled 'Jungle' camp in Calais.

Amber Rudd said that the Government had already taken in over 200 children, but that they would be "very strict" on numbers.

Speaking to Julie Etchingham at a conference on Modern Slavery in Rome, Ms Rudd denied that the UK had been slow to help young children who could be prone to traffickers as the camp was cleared by the French this week.

Ms Rudd said: "My priority is to focus on the most vulnerable which is why we've particularly been focusing on young girls.

"Only 10% of the camp is girls, but last weekend about a third of people we bought over were girls, so focusing on the vulnerable is always going to be our priority.

"We have a very strict, but I hope generous approach to it, making sure weassess and bring over the ones who really are the most vulnerable, who are under 18, who are better off being in the UK."

The extra numbers could put further strain on the Home Office who admitted in an email to charities last week that they were struggling to provide care for newly-arrived child refugees.

But Ms Rudd, who said she had not seen the email, denied that the Home Office was not prepared.

She said: "We have a system in place that is taking these children over, that is taking them to their homes where they have them, that is putting them in temporary accommodation - we have a good system in place."

The Home Secretary said that the UK was keen to do "its bit", but the Government had to be careful that they didn't encourage families to head to the UK.

She said: "We do have an imperative to help, but we do have to be careful where we offer that help so it doesn't act as a draw for people to send their children across Europe, across the seas."

Ms Rudd spoke to her French counterpart Bernard Cazeneuve on Thursday "to stress the need for children who remain in Calais to be properly protected" after dozens of youngsters were forced to sleep on the roadside of the Jungle camp.