Record 409 migrants reach UK in single day


409 migrants crossed the English Channel to reach UK shores in small boats today – significantly breaking the previous single-day record.

Hundreds were intercepted while others managed to land on beaches, according to the Home Office.

It brings the total number who have successfully made the journey this year to more than 5,600.

The previous daily record was 235, set on August 6.

Migrants on beach with border force officers.
Large numbers of migrants were seen being brought into Dover

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK is a “target and magnet” for people traffickers and vowed to change the law to help tackle the crisis.

That is despite Home Secretary Priti Patel saying last year the migrant crossings would become an “infrequent phenomenon” by spring 2020.

Balmy sunshine and crystal clear conditions meant that France was clearly visible from Dover throughout Wednesday.

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Large numbers of migrants were seen being brought into the Kent port, packed aboard Border Force patrol vessels and sitting on the front of lifeboats.

Some smiled and waved as they arrived while others carried toddlers too young to walk.

Numbers arriving were so high that dozens of migrants spent an hour sat on Border Force boats in the harbour before they were allowed to disembark.

Meanwhile, empty dinghy after empty dinghy were towed in from the Channel.

Empty dinghys being pulled by harbour patrol.
Empty dinghies were towed into the harbour

While the Home Office confirmed 409 migrants reached the UK by small boat, more incidents were ongoing and that number could be revised up.

In recent weeks, the government has blamed French authorities and “activist lawyers” for rising numbers of crossings and difficulties removing asylum seekers once they arrive in Britain.

Last month, former Royal Marine Dan O’Mahoney was appointed to the post of “clandestine Channel threat commander”.

Also in August, a Sudanese migrant, Abdulfatah Hamdallah, drowned trying to cross the Channel having used shovels for oars.

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