Fury as Church of England policy adviser's 'love' of illegal immigrants revealed

A key Church of England aide wrote an article about his love of illegal immigrants while advising on refugee and asylum policy, the Express can reveal.

Martin Kettle, who served as the Church’s home affairs adviser for seven years, published a piece entitled “Don’t you love illegal immigrants” in 2018, which argued Christians “want to love illegal immigrants. We DO love illegal immigrants”.

Mr Kettle, who left his role in 2019, was the co-author of an official Church of England asylum advise document, which was unearthed last week and sparked outrage due to its guide on how clergy can launch “personal campaigns” should an asylum case they’re helping with be rejected.

Mr Kettle’s opinion piece gives a crucial insight into the advice the Church of England was receiving on asylum and illegal immigration policy from 2012. One argument pushed by the top aide was that the word “immigrant” is “very often racist code for someone who seems to belong to a visually identifiable category of people many of whom have come to the UK in the last 50 years”.

He also claimed that “No one is illegal – that is, no one exists illegally”, and took aim at Baroness Williams, a then-Home Office minister who told the House of Lords: “There should be a hostile environment for people who have no lawful right to be here”.

fury as church of england policy adviser's 'love' of illegal immigrants revealed

Martin Kettle advised the Church of England on home affairs between 2012 and 2019

Mr Kettle did not endorse illegal small boat crossings my migrants, arguing his position was “not incompatible with people being responsible for their actions, and being held responsible”.

However he argued that those in Britain illegally would “not be pilloried or execrated” while being removed.

A Church spokesman said the views in Mr Kettle’s article do not represent their official position.

The views by the Church of England’s immigration advisor have piled further pressure on the institution, after it emerged religious conversion had been a key factor in the Clapham alkali attacker being granted asylum status after his third application.

Tory MP and member of the Home Affairs Select Committee Tim Loughton said Mr Kettle’s article “confirms everything that is wrong with the way the CoE fails to distinguish between asylum seekers genuinely fleeing danger and those with no credible case to be in the UK and who are scamming the system and abusing the hospitality of the British taxpayer”.

fury as church of england policy adviser's 'love' of illegal immigrants revealed

Tim Loughton MP blasted the latest revelation, after raising the scandal at PMQs last week

Mr Loughton, who raised the leaked Church of England asylum advice document at Prime Minister’s Questions last week, revealed he challenged the Bishop of Chelmsford and other church leaders on the controversy last Thursday.

He revealed it was “very clear that the Church of England needs to revisit this guidance urgently, but there are many other churches who actually have no guidance at all”.

Red Wall MP Jonathan Gullis said that while Mr Kettle is no longer advising the church, “based on the growing pile of evidence his attitude towards border security remains the wide-spread view within the Church of England”.

“Mr Kettle’s “love” of illegal immigrants is completely at odds with the views of most church-going Brits, and no doubt partly explains the decline in popularity of a once great institution.

“The Home Affairs Select Committee has already written to Woke Welby demanding answers, and it would be a disgrace were he to dodge scrutiny on this scandal.

“The Church of England claims Mr Kettle’s views are not their official position. They’ve got a funny way of showing it.”

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey also took aim at the Church of England yesterday, accusing Justin Welby and other bishops in the House of Lords of “blindness” to the impact of mass immigration.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Lord Carey urged bishops to do “much more” to listen to “struggling communities”.

He also hit out at their official asylum guidance document, saying that while it helps Clergy mount “personal campaigns” it doesn’t help discern whether religious conversions are “authentic, long-standing and life-changing”.

He wrote that false conversions by those “gaming the system” are “truly depressing”, given Christian converts in some countries are “among the most persecuted minorities in the world”, yet find themselves undermined by false converts.

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