'I apologise on behalf of my country. I’m sorry for what we’ve put you through'
Lily Allen has made an emotional statement about the migrant crisis after visiting children at the refugee ‘jungle’ camp in Calais.
Filmed by the BBC for Victoria Derbyshire’s show, the ‘Smile’ singer met with children who are currently without parents at the camp. It is currently estimated that between 600 and 100 unaccompanied children are staying there.
At one point, she meets a 13-year-old boy who fled Afghanistan where he says ‘the Taliban were trying to kill me’. He has the legal right to live in the UK but claims “the legal process is too slow,” so is trying to enter via sneaking onto a truck and through the Channel Tunnel.
“The way I am trying works better,” he said. “We wait for the truck to stop, then we get on the top. Last night we got on to the lorries and we hid ourselves. The police caught us. They started to kick us, and they slapped me.”
Allen then tearfully responded: “At three points in your life [the UK] has put you in danger. We bombed your country, put you in the hands of the Taliban, and now put you in danger of risking your life to get into our country.
“I apologise on behalf of my country, for what we’ve put you through.”
She continued: “I’m a mother and I’ve got two little girls. If something happened in this country and they were displaced and had to run for it, I hope other parts of the world were a little bit more helpful,” Allen says, openly critical of the UK’s response to the migrant crisis.
“The only thing I can think of that prevents us from acting is self-preservation. People are scared of our government having to provide funds to look after these other people and how that will affect us.”
Allen added: “It’s desperate. I’m shocked that this is happening, in such close proximity to where we live.
“Life is easier for me if I put this stuff out my mind,” she explains in her characteristically honest manner. “That’s not really a correct response to humanitarian crises.”
You can donate to help the victims of the migrant crisis throughout Europe via the British Red Cross here.
Meanwhile, Ed Harcourt, Carl Barat, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and The Magic Numbers head up a benefit gig for child refugees in London next month.