Piers Morgan Tears Down David Davies In Furious Debate About Checking Child Migrants’ Teeth
David Davies, Conservative MP and Chairman of the House of Commons Welsh Affairs Select Committee has created an uproar by suggesting child migrants coming to the UK from Calais should have their teeth checked to confirm their ages.
Speaking yesterday, Mr Davies said dental checks or hand X-rays to check bone density should be used to check ages and stop Britain’s hospitality being abused.
Fourteen teenagers on Monday arrived in the UK from Calais as a fast-track system was launched to transfer youngsters from the "Jungle" camp before it is demolished.
The Home Office insisted it had “verified” the ages of all the refugees and that all of those who were brought to the UK were aged between 14 and 17.
Mr Davies comments have been subject to widespread condemnation. The broadcaster and former footballer Gary Lineker tweeted that the reception of the migrants by some had been “hideously racist and utterly heartless”.
In an interview on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Piers Morgan let rip at the MP stating:
“Who are you to decide these impoverished young people, who’ve been through a hellish time, and are coming to this country in comparatively small numbers to what I feel our country’s moral duty to these people is - and your response is, ‘uh, I don’t think they’re the right age, check their teeth’?”
The Home Office says its age assessments are based on interviews and judgments about physical appearance and demeanour.
The British Dental Association pointed out that dental checks were unreliable for assessing age. A spokesman said: “It’s not only an inaccurate method for assessing age, but it is both inappropriate and unethical to take radiographs of people when there is no health benefit for them.
“X-rays taken for a clinically justified reason must not be used for another purpose without the patient’s informed consent, without coercion and in full knowledge of how the radiograph will be used and by whom.”
Davies suggested other tests including a hand X-ray to test bone density. He added: “We need to be quite hardnosed here. People are desperate they will say what they need to say to get in.”
Ruth Allen, the chief executive of the British Association of Social Workers said medical tests would be “very intrusive and could be traumatising”. She added: “If there are issues about the age of the people who have come in in this first cohort, then that can be looked at. But the key issue is how do we bring the hundreds of children who are in the camp who have a right to be here under various conventions and obligations and how do we ensure that there is now a process to get all of those brought in to the UK. We need to ensure that children can come through quickly and have their rights met.”
French authorities are expected to empty the Jungle camp in Calais in the coming weeks and dismantle it by the start of winter.
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