‘Always been desperate’ BBC’s Naga Munchetty swipes at Priti Patel over Ukrainian refugees

Naga Munchetty replaces Rachel Burden on 5 Live Breakfast

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BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty was left unimpressed after Home Secretary Priti Patel announced she will allow a “humanitarian route” for refugees from Ukraine seeking a safe passage to the UK. In a feisty Twitter retort this morning, she made her opinion clear, hinting that, in her eyes, the move didn’t go nearly far enough.

I’m assuming that refugees fleeing war in their homelands have always been desperate.”

Naga Munchetty

Last night, Harry Cole, the political editor of The Sun, posted a statement from the Home Secretary on Twitter.

It read: “Home Sec to Sun: ‘In response to the desperation I saw with my own eyes at the Polish border two days ago, I’m urgently escalating our response to the growing humanitarian crisis.

“‘I am now investigating the legal options to create a humanitarian route.’”

Currently, only those with family members living in Britain have the right to receive asylum here, but Priti announced she wanted to ensure that “anyone without ties to the UK fleeing the conflict… will [also] have a right to come to this nation”.

Yet an incredulous Naga was far from accepting of the news, after it emerged that just 50 out of the 1.3 million Ukrainian refugees seeking a safe country have successfully obtained a British visa.

She hit back at the MP’s choice of words: “I’m assuming that refugees fleeing war in their homelands, have always been desperate.”

The BBC Breakfast and BBC Radio 5 Live star tweeted the comment in view of her almost 267,000 followers – and she had some admiring replies.

@garyjarmitage seemed equally cynical about the attitude within the government, firing back: “I tried to contact the PM to say I wanted him to change the rules so that my wife and I would welcome a family from Ukraine and help them emotionally and financially but yet to get a reply.”

He added: “I’m not holding my breath.”

@jonloveridge83 echoed the sentiment, writing: “She had to see with ‘her own eyes’ what lots of other people have been explaining – without needing to see – for over a week now. How very reassuring that she’s in charge.”

@BeccaBell05 was also withering, questioning: “What exactly did she expect to find?! Slightly disgruntled coach trippers? Inconvenienced travellers who had experienced the equivalent to a 4 hour delay on British rail?”

@Ian_Brooker added: “Spot on! Most of us don’t need to meet refugees to comprehend desperation.”

@cd174 concurred: “The most depressing thing about @pritipatel is that, whilst you’d expect online criticism about her would relate to her being too tough on asylum seekers, depressingly most of it is from people who think she isn’t tough enough.”

Meanwhile, @womansayss begged in reference to the BBC’s strict impartiality rules: “Please don’t let me read you’ve been ordered to delete this tweet! Coz you’re spot on Naga!”

However, although many Twitter users called out the “lamentable response of the British Government”, there were others who felt an emotional Naga was being a little too harsh on Priti.

@gipsygillo accused her of being “condescending”, firing back: “I find that a condescending comment considering some Ukrainians interviewed describe their lives three weeks ago to now and do not sound like they were in desperate need to leave Ukraine ?!”

@Salopian4life worried: “We can’t afford nor accommodate a million refugees!!”

Meanwhile, the EU has offered to accommodate any refugee in need of help for three years.

In stark contrast, Britain ruled against an open-border policy for the time being, over fears it would cause security issues, according to the aforementioned publication.

Although 1.3 million Ukranians have already fled in search of safety, just 50 have been logged as receiving safe passage to the UK through the refugee visa route.

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