THE UK’s Immigration Minister has said that Suella Braverman’s use of the word “invasion” is one which “expresses very clearly the concern that millions of people feel across the country”. 

The Home Secretary sparked outrage yesterday when she described the number of migrants crossing the Channel as an “invasion”.

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick was pressed on Braverman’s use of the word on BBC Breakfast. 

He said: “Well I think it’s a word that was expressing the sheer scale of the illegal migration that we’re seeing as a country right now. 

“We can’t brush that under the carpet, we would be doing a disservice to the public if we weren’t honest and straightforward about the scale of the challenge that we’re facing. 

“It also I think expresses the very real concerns that some members of the public, who live in places like Dover, where they’re seeing small boats arriving on beaches almost every day.”

The Home Secretary’s comments come following accusations that she “ignored” legal advice regarding how long asylum seekers were being kept in overcrowded and disease-ridden processing centres for too long. 

Under current legislation, migrants are not supposed to be held in processing centres for longer than 24 hours. 

One Tory MP described the situation at an immigration centre in Kent as a “breach of humane conditions”. 

READ MORE: Scotland's first refugee councillor slams Home Office handling of asylum seekers in Kent

Jenrick was again pressed on whether he would have used the same language as Braverman. 

He replied: “Well I think it’s a phrase that expresses very clearly the concern that millions of people feel across the country. 

“Of course as a minister in my position you have to choose your words carefully but I think that the scale of the challenge is very significant. 

“We are, I’m afraid, seeing our asylum system being overwhelmed by the numbers choosing to cross the Channel and we have to take action.”

Braverman has been under pressure ever since being re-appointed to the Cabinet as both the SNP and Scottish Greens called for her to be sacked. 

Jenrick was then asked if he would use the word “invasion” on BBC Breakfast. He said: “I think the word invasion expresses the scale of the challenge that we’re facing. That’s what the Home Secretary is saying. 

“Well I’ve just used the word and I think what you’re trying to say is that the Home Secretary’s approach is not the right one and I would disagree because I think millions of people across the country, a majority of my constituents in Newark and Nottinghamshire feel very strongly about this issue.”

Jenrick also said the “root cause” of what is happening at the Manston migrant processing centre in Kent is not the fault of the Government. 

Concerns have been raised over the conditions of sites where migrants await processing. 

The Home Secretary was accused of “ignoring” legal advice regarding how long people were kept in the centres. 

READ MORE: Fury over Manston immigration centre as 'women and kids sleep on mats on the floors of tents'

Under current UK legislation, it should be no more than 24 hours. Asked about the situation on Sky News, Jenrick said: “Conditions are poor. They are improving. We are trying to ensure that as many people as possible leave the site to better accommodation, mostly in hotels, as quickly as possible. 

“It is not designed to be somewhere where people stay for a prolonged period of time. 

“It is, by necessity, relatively austere. The task now is to ensure it gets back to its normal working pattern.”

He also said he had not appeared on the programme to “defend” the situation as he admitted that people had been staying there for over 24 hours and had been sleeping on the floor on mats. 

Former prisons inspector and parole board chair Nick Hardwick said on social media that the conditions were a “national disgrace”. 

Jenrick continued: “This is not a satisfactory situation. I’m not here to defend that. 

“I would just say that the root cause of what we’re seeing at Manston is not the Government. It’s certainly not the brilliant Border Force Staff who are managing the site, the contractors, the catering staff. 

“The problem is that thousands of people are crossing the Channel illegally every day.”