A pro-Brexit group is exploiting the death of an old man to push its anti-immigrant agenda

pro-Brexit group on immigration
Sam Woolfe

Westmonster, a Brexit-supporting website, published an article that blamed mass immigration for the fact that an 85-year-old man died in hospital due to ‘dangerous overcrowding’. Leave.EU, one of the most influential pro-Brexit campaign groups, retweeted the story and likewise decided to scapegoat immigrants.

Immigrants blamed for stretched services

Millionaire Arron Banks co-founded Leave.EU. He reportedly gave the campaign group “the biggest donation in British political history” in the run-up to the Brexit vote. The Electoral Commission is now investigating him over whether he broke campaign finance rules in his donations to pro-Leave organisations. Banks has given millions to UKIP, and also set up Westmonster – which describes itself as “pro-Brexit, pro-Farage, pro-Trump”.

Many Twitter users were outraged that Leave.EU and Westmonster were exploiting the death of an old man in order to push their agenda.

In the Westmonster piece, it reads:

The population rose by 538,000 in the year ending June 2016, 62% of that was down to migration. Unless this government can regain control of borders, UK infrastructure will continue to crumble.

Others on Twitter pointed out how immigrants form the backbone of the NHS.

NHS Digital previously highlighted that nearly 10,000 EU NHS staff had quit following the Brexit vote.

NHS underfunding

Instead of seeing mass immigration as the reason for NHS failings, scores of Twitter users said underfunding was the problem. As a case in point, Germany has more immigration than the UK, but more doctors per 1,000 people. And the same disparity holds for nurses too, as the UK has 7.9 per 1,000 people, while Germany has 13.3.

As The Canary has consistently reported, the NHS is facing a funding crisis. But Leave.EU and Westmonster are ignoring how a dangerous lack of resources and staff are putting the health and lives of elderly people at risk.

Rather than face the facts, they have chosen to peddle myths and xenophobia instead. It’s reassuring to see so many people calling out these dodgy tactics.

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