BARNSLEY’S only Conservative MP has labelled illegal immigration as a ‘serious security and humanitarian issue’.

Miriam Cates, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, spoke in Parliament this week about the costs of illegal immigration.

She said: “Over recent weeks there has been a lot of focus on the huge number of people arriving in the UK illegally on small boats.

“This is a serious security and humanitarian issue - both for the general public and for genuine asylum seekers - but it is also a serious financial issue for UK taxpayers during difficult economic times.

“In Parliament, I asked Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick about the government’s plan to move away from the expensive model of using hotel accommodation to house migrants.

“I’m pleased that the Home Secretary is fully committed to finding a solution and ending the exploitation of our system by criminal gangs.

“It’s good to see progress in co-operation with French authorities but I also believe we will need to strengthen our laws to act as a further deterrent.”