Labour and the SNP have blasted David Cameron after he described refugees in Calais as a "bunch of migrants" during an exchange at Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs). The Conservative leader made the remarks after Jeremy Corbyn visited the refugees across the English Channel on 22 January.
The Labour leader urged the government to do more to assist the people at the makeshift camps in Calais and Dunkirk after Cameron decided in 2015 to take an additional 20,000 Syrian refugees over the course of the parliament, which comes to an end in 2020.
But the prime minister's move meant that the UK would not accept any of the more than 9,000 refugees from Calais or Dunkirk amid worries such a decision would encourage refugees in the Middle East to attempt to travel to the camps.
The issued was raised again by Cameron in the House of Commons on 27 January when the prime minister attacked Corbyn. "They met with the unions and they gave them flying pickets. They met with the Argentinians and they gave them the Falkland Islands," he declared.
"They met with a bunch of migrants in Calais and they said they could all come to Britain. The only people they never stand up for are the British people and hard-working taxpayers."
Labour's shadow leader of the House of Commons, Chris Bryant, accused Cameron of being "odious" for making the remarks, while the SNP's minister for Europe, Humza Yousaf, claimed the prime minister's language was "inflammatory".
Andy Burnham, Labour's shadow home secretary, added: "He just dismissed desperate people fleeing conflict as a 'bunch of migrants' - on Holocaust Memorial Day." Cameron's latest remarks comes hours after he was criticised for apparently calling Londoners "lab rats".
The Conservative Party had not responded to a request for comment from IBTimes UK at the time of publication.