Asylum seekers foiled my haircut plans, says Gravesham MP

PUBLISHED: 10:26 09 September 2015 | UPDATED: 10:26 09 September 2015

Adam Holloway

Adam Holloway


Adam Holloway says refugees are holidaying in the countries they have claimed asylum from

Asylum seekers get the blame for a lot of things – and now Gravesham MP Adam Holloway says they’re foiling his plans to get a haircut.

He told MPs that refugees were claiming asylum in the UK, then going on holiday to the countries they had claimed asylum from – which was what had thwarted his attempts to get his locks lopped off.

“We have people in this country who have come here and claimed asylum, and then they go back on holiday in the places they’ve claimed asylum from,” he said.

“I couldn’t have my hair cut the other day for that reason.”

A former soldier and journalist, Mr Holloway has reported undercover at the Sangatte refugee camp and pretended to be a deaf and dumb Bosnian Muslim in Serb territory.

But he said for Europe to simply allow anyone to settle here once they had arrived was “completely bonkers”.

“It’s not an idle exaggeration or scaremongering to say that over the coming years, we’re looking at potentially hundreds of millions of people seeking a better life in Europe,” he said.

“The numbers have grown and will grow as long as we continue to reward these journeys with the opportunity to settle in Europe.

“I think we’ve got to make it absolutely clear that you’ll not be allowed to live in Europe if you try to get in through the back door.”

He said it was possible to be an economic migrant and a refugee – and that there were wealthy countries near the areas people were fleeing which could also be trying to help.

“I think that’s one of the appalling truths of the Syrian bodies that are being washed up on the beaches,” Mr Holloway said.

“They’ve previously got to safe countries and now they’re choosing to come to Europe. I would do it.

“Instead, if you’re a refugee, you should be offered a well-resourced place of safety ... perhaps in Europe, but more probably in a safe place in the region where you live.

“If it turns out you’re an economic migrant, you should be taken home. This isn’t xenophobic - I think it’s moral, practical, fair, and also sustainable over many years.”

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Gravesend Reporter. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Gravesend Reporter