Dear Michael Gove, have you spoken to any UK migrants? Ever?

Michael Gove
Support us and go ad-free

The mental health of thousands of children around the UK is breaking, as they sit the new GCSEs. These were Michael Gove’s ‘triumph’ as education secretary. Recently, he’s seemed relatively quiet, squirreled away as the environment secretary. But he’s back, championing Brexit. Again.

Now, he’s ‘celebrating’ the impact of Brexit on migrants.


As reported on Channel 4 News, Gove said:

Britain has become more welcoming to migration since the Brexit vote.

Basing this on “opinion research” (no comment), he claimed that:

now Britain is one of those EU nations with the warmest attitude towards migration.

Sorry, what?

Many have taken to Twitter to remind Gove about some of the ‘welcoming’ Brexit ‘moments’:

Perhaps Gove needs some figures about hate crime, from real research. Because these show a very different picture of this ‘welcome’.

The government’s own figures [pdf, p7] found that, in 2016/17, police recorded 80,393 hate crime offences. This was an increase of 29% since 2015/16, which it said:

is thought to reflect… a genuine rise in hate crime around the time of the EU referendum

According to the Guardian, police thought “the spike in hate crime following the EU referendum was the worst on record”. Reports increased:

by 42%, to more than 3,000 allegations of hate crime across Britain in the week before and the week after the 23 June vote.

The UN committee on the elimination of racial discrimination (CERD) directly blamed pro-Leave politicians for this rise (are you listening, Gove?). It said:

British politicians helped fuel a steep rise in racist hate crimes during and after the EU referendum campaign.

It’s a situation that has not improved. In January 2018, Prof Tendayi Achiume – the UN’s special rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance – said:

The environment leading up to the referendum, the environment during the referendum, and the environment after the referendum has made racial and ethnic minorities more vulnerable to racial discrimination and intolerance.


As The Canary previously reported, those arriving in the UK seeking asylum have faced years of “bad practices and poor decision-making [that] are putting lives at risk”. Far from ‘welcoming’.

Perhaps Gove missed the news about the thousands of UK citizens caught up in the Windrush scandal?

As if to prove beyond any doubt just how welcoming Gove’s Britain truly is, he ‘jokingly’ referred to Meghan Markle as “exotic”:

Writing in the Guardian, Nesrine Malik said of Gove:

He can stand in front of a nation that witnessed immigration become the second most important issue to voters, in the very headwinds of the Windrush scandal, and say that Brexit has made the UK more welcoming to immigrants.

As one person said:

There are many who agree with that sentiment.

Get Involved!

– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

Featured image via screengrab

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed