‘Inhumane’ Tory minister slammed for ordering children’s artwork be painted over at asylum centre

'A man so utterly lacking in humanity'


Tory minister Robert Jenrick has been slammed for ordering staff at an asylum reception centre to paint over pictures of cartoons and animals to ensure children did not feel welcomed, it is claimed.

Jenrick is said to have not wanted the asylum centre to be seen as a ‘welcome centre’ and wanted it to be clear that it was a ‘law enforcement environment”, in keeping with the broader hostile environment policy being pushed by the Tory government.

According to Enver Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council, Jenrick gave the order as he visited the Kent asylum intake unit earlier this year.

He told the i newspaper: “The Immigration Minister said pictures of cartoons and animals must be removed and that staff should make sure they are painted over, as they give an impression of welcoming, which Mr Jenrick didn’t want to show.

“This demonstrates that the hostile environment has become so entrenched, that today we have lost sight of humanity.”

Mr Solomon told a Refugee Week event, hosted last week by the Wiener Holocaust Library, that the pictures are designed to put lone children at ease.

Jenrick has been slammed for his lack of humanity.

Jo Maugham, Director at the Good Law Project, tweeted: “Imagine being @RobertJenrick: a man so utterly lacking in humanity that he goes out of his way to make life more unpleasant for the most vulnerable children in the world.”

Labour MP Stella Creasy tweeted: “He just can’t help himself can he- Robert Jenrick demanding murals for refugee children be painted over for fear it ‘encourages them’ to feel welcome…

“When Mickey Mouse is problematic under this government, it’s clear who the real cartoon villains are …”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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