UK Border Agency in Chinatown

Committed By: 
The Mayor

Commitment

Andrew Dismore (AM):  Did you know that whilst you were swanning around doing your photo opportunities in Beijing with George Osborne, at home the UK Border Agency (UKBA) was harassing Chinese businesses in Chinatown?  There have been 11 big raids since July.  That is almost one a week and more often than not they do not find anyone illegal.  It is not intelligence-led.  These are fishing expeditions.

 

It has reached the stage that yesterday afternoon all the shops and businesses in Chinatown, 200 or more, closed for two hours in protest because they were very angry at the disruptive and discriminatory fishing raids by the Border Agency.  They think they have become easy targets for the UKBA to attack.  These raids are damaging the reputation of Chinatown and Chinese businesses and create and reinforce the negative stereotypes of Chinese people.

 What are you doing about these raids?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  What I would say is that obviously I ‑‑

 

Andrew Dismore (AM):  Why are you saying one thing in China and another thing at home?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Come on.  You want to hear the answer?  You hear the answer.  Obviously, I deprecate any activities by the UKBA that are discriminatory or unnecessarily hostile to any community in our city and I have made that clear time and time again.  If they have been heavy-handed in this instance, then certainly we will get on to it and we will take the necessary actions.