Van riposte to immigration message
Human rights campaigners have hit back at the Government’s ”go home” ad vans with their own spin on the controversial immigration campaign.
Last month, Home Office ads, displayed on billboards carried by vans in six London boroughs, told overstaying migrants ”Go home, or you’ll be picked up and deported”.
Anger mounted over the department’s tactics amid reports commuters at transport hubs across the capital were targeted for spot checks by border officials purely on ethnic grounds.
Liberty’s van will circle the Home Office, Westminster and the surrounding area, before visiting Kensal Green and Walthamstow – two of the London boroughs thought to be targeted during the spot-checks.
A statement from Liberty said the Home Office’s messaging had “racist connotations – mirroring National Front slogans from the 1970s”.
The human rights and civil liberties group said the department’s decision to use the vans was “deeply offensive and divisive and in breach of the Equality Act 2010 so therefore unlawful”.
Elsewhere, Conservative Mayor of London Boris Johnson has admitted the language on the vans could have been “friendlier”.
Speaking on LBC 97.3 with Nick Ferrari, Mr Johnson said: “The language could be friendlier, what we’re really saying is, are you illegal, do you need to regularise your status, do you need help getting home, then here’s the number. That seems a perfectly reasonable thing to say.”
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said it will probe the reported spot checks, as well as the controversial ”go home” campaign.
From The Belfast Telegraph . 06.08.13.