409 migrants reach UK shores in single-day record

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Neil Connery

At least 409 migrants have reached UK shores in a rush of small boats, a new single-day record.

A wave of people took advantage of flat seas in the English Channel on Wednesday, with hundreds of migrants intercepted in the Channel while others managed to land on beaches.

Wednesday’s record total surpasses the previous high of 235, set on August 6.

The latest figures come as Boris Johnson warned the UK is a “target and magnet” for people traffickers.

The Prime Minister told the House of Commons he has “a great deal of sympathy” for parents so desperate that they are putting their children in dinghies and even paddling pools to cross the Channel.

Boris Johnson spoke to MPs in the Commons. Credit: Toby Melville/PA

However he said that they are falling prey to criminal gangs and vowed to change the law to help tackle the crisis.

He made the comments after a morning in which at least 100 people arrived at Dover.

Groups of people, including young children, were brought to shore by Border Force patrol vessels and lifeboats following a small boat incident in the Channel.

Some of the suspected migrants smiled and waved as they arrived into the busy port while others carried toddlers too young to walk.

Mr Johnson vowed to change the law.

Two people thought to be migrants are brought into Dover Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

He said: “I have a great deal of sympathy with those who are so desperate as to put their children in dinghies or even children’s paddling pools and try to cross the Channel. “But I have to say what they’re doing is falling prey to criminal gangs and they are breaking the law. They’re also undermining the legitimate claims of others who would seek asylum in this country. “That is why we will take advantage of leaving the EU by changing the Dublin regulations on returns and we will address the rigidities in our laws that makes this country, I’m afraid, a target and a magnet for those who would exploit vulnerable people in this way.”Home Office minister Chris Philp said 24 people have been jailed for facilitating illegal immigration so far this year.