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Boy's body washes up in Calais after trying to cross Channel – Priti Patel lashes out

The teenager disappeared off the coast of the northern French port. Home Secretary Priti Patel has described his death as a “tragic loss” and a “brutal reminder” of people smugglers “who exploit vulnerable people”. Ms Patel said: “This is an upsetting and tragic loss of a young life.

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“This horrendous incident serves as a brutal reminder of the abhorrent criminal gangs and people smugglers who exploit vulnerable people.

“Working together we are determined to stop them.”

Minister Marlene Schiappa, who is in charge of citizenship in France’s government, said the teenager was found on the beach at Sangatte on Wednesday morning.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has hit out at smugglers after a boy died while trying to get to the UK (Image: GETTY)

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Priti Patel expressed sadness over the boy’s death and lashed out at migrant smugglers (Image: GETTY)

Ms Shiappa said the death highlighted the need to tackle the smugglers.

She tweeted: “Immense sadness: A 16-year-old Sudanese migrant who disappeared in the sea last night was found dead in the beach in Sangatte this morning.”

The tragedy came as migrants making the perilous crossing of the English Channel have been a focus of the UK Government amid a record number of journeys.

READ MORE: Ferry incident: 16 people found in container en route to Ireland

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A migrant mother is reunited with her child after arriving in Kent (Image: GETTY)

The discovery of the boy’s body came as Borer Force rescued more than 50 people in Dover on Wednesday morning.

Children were among the group which arrived into the Kent port weeks after the number of vessels making the perilous crossing increased dramatically.

Amnesty International issued a statement on Wednesday calling on the UK and French governments to work together to find a solution to the problems that drive people into the hands of illegal smugglers. 

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A child is carried by a member of Border Force after arriving in Kent (Image: GETTY)

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Rubber dinghies used by migrants to cross the Channel pictured stored in Kent (Image: GETTY)

Steve Valdez-Symonds, the group’s refugee and migrant rights director in the UK, said: “We are deeply saddened at the news that a young man has been found dead after it would seem drowning in an attempt to cross the Channel.

“We know he is not the first person to have lost his life attempting to reach safety in the UK from France and can only hope that such tragedies do not continue.

“We continue, therefore, to demand that the Governments on both sides of these waters share their asylum responsibilities and implore them in doing so to focus on relieving the desperate plight of people in need of support, safety and, in many cases, reunion with their family.”

Mike Adamson, CEO of British Red Cross, said the teenager’s death was “an unnecessary tragedy” and said saving lives should be at the heart of the Government’s response to the migrant crossing.

He added: “It’s unacceptable in any circumstances that people feel they have no choice but to make dangerous journeys in their search for protection.”

The latest developments came after Kent County Council announced it will no longer care for unaccompanied child migrants as its resources have been “exhausted”.

The council said 13 new arrivals over the weekend meant the authority had reached its capacity when it comes to housing and looking after under 18s.

More than 400 unaccompanied child migrants have been taken in by the council since January.

Migrant men warm themselves at a fire in a camp near the Calais ferry terminal (Image: GETTY)

Leader of Kent Council Roger Gough hit out at the Home Office, accusing the Government of failing to address an issue which “should have been resolved before now”.

Charities have called the situation a “scandal” and a “political failure”, calling on the Government to urgently find a way forward.

Since the beginning of the year more than 4,700 migrants have landed on UK shores in small boats.

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