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Suella Braverman has been confronted by a Holocaust survivor over her claim that the UK is facing an “invasion” by asylum seekers.

The home secretary was told the comments were reminiscent of “the language used to dehumanise and justify the murder of my family and millions of others”.

Braverman made her initial comments in the House of Commons in October during a debate on the number of small boats cross the English Channel from France to the UK.

She said: “The British people deserve to know which party is serious about stopping the invasion on our southern coast and which party is not.”

At a town hall event in her Fareham constituency last night, a woman in the audience told her: “I am a child survivor of the Holocaust. In 1943 I was forced to flee my birthplace in Belgium and went across war-torn Europe and dangerous seas until I finally was able to come to the UK in 1947.

“Now, when I hear you using words against refugees like ‘swarms’ and ‘invasion’ I am reminded of the language used to dehumanise and justify the murder of my family and millions of others.

“Why do you find the need to use that kind of language?”

Responding to the woman, Braverman said her own father had been “kicked out of Kenya” and found refuge in the UK, while her mother came to Britain from Mauritius when she 18 to work as a nurse.

She said: “They owe everything to this country and they have taught me a deep and profound love of Britain and the British people – their tolerance, their generosity, their decency, their fair play.

“And that also means that we mustn’t shy away from saying there is a problem and there is a huge problem that we have right now when it comes to illegal migration, the scale of which we have not known before.

“And I won’t apologise for the language that I’ve used to demonstrate the scale of the problem. I see my job as being honest with the British people and honest for the British people.

“I’m not going to shy away from difficult truths, nor am I going to conceal what is the reality that we are all watching.”

In a statement post on Twitter, the Home Office said: “The home secretary listened carefully to the testimony. She thanked her for sharing her story.

“The home secretary also expressed her sympathy and set out why it is important to tackle illegal migration.”

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