Priti Patel has become embroiled in an unlikely row with ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s.
The Home Secretary, 48, bit back after the company took to Twitter to criticise her stance on illegal migrants crossing the English Channel.
Hey @PritiPatel we think the real crisis is our lack of humanity for people fleeing war, climate change and torture. We pulled together a thread for you..
— Ben & Jerry's UK (@benandjerrysUK) August 11, 2020
What did Ben & Jerry’s say?
The multi-national company said in a tweet: “Hey @PritiPatel we think the real crisis is our lack of humanity for people fleeing war, climate change and torture. We pulled together a thread for you…”
It then went on to detail, in a series of sub-tweets, why the increase of illegal crossings across the Channel should not be viewed inhumanely.
“People wouldn’t make dangerous journeys if they had any other choice,” Ben & Jerry’s said. “The UK hasn’t resettled any refugees since March, but wars and violence continue. What we need is more safe and legal routes.
In another tweet, it added: “People cannot be illegal. And, it is enshrined in the 1951 Refugee Convention that crossing a border ‘illegally’ should not impact your asylum claim.”
How did Priti respond to Ben & Jerry’s?
With many followers took to the social media site to voice their support for Ben & Jerry’s stance. But it seems the Twitter thread didn’t go down well with Priti’s team.
BBC political correspondent Chris Mason tweeted out a response from a government source.
“Priti is working day and night to bring an end to these small boat crossings, which are facilitated by international criminal gangs and are of serious concern,” it read.
“If that means upsetting the social media team for a brand of overpriced junk food then so be it.”
What was the row about?
According to Metro, more than 4,000 migrants have crossed the Channel this year, often using small boats to make the dangerous journey.
Between Thursday of last week (August 6) and Sunday (August 10), almost 600 arrived, signifying a spike in crossings.
Under pressure to address the situation, Priti took to Twitter to let followers know what action she had been taking.
“Today I was in Dover to see how Border Force and other operational partners are tirelessly dealing with the unacceptable number of illegal small boat crossings,” she said.
“I am absolutely committed to making this incredibly dangerous route unviable.”
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