Tory MP David Davies is derided by dentists… and Piers Morgan
The MP for Monmouth stands accused of demonising child refugees.
Piers Morgan has become the latest person to lay into the Conservative MP who called for child migrants arriving from squalid camps in Calais to have their teeth tested to verify their ages.
David Davies said that the checks would ensure Britain's “hospitality” was not being “abused”.
But ITV’s Good Morning Britain host told the Tory MP: “These hulking young adults have come from war-torn countries, desperately in need of help.
“Whether they’re five, 10, 15, 20, 25… there’s a whiff of unpleasant racism and anti-foreigner-ism, going ‘look at him, check his teeth’.”
The MP known by colleagues as ‘top cat’* first aired his views on Tuesday, saying he would be “tabling questions in Parliament asking how many migrant children have undergone dental checks”.
His comments sparked incredulity with Labour MP Stella Creasy saying she was “ashamed to be in same Parliament” as him.
Twitter users also lined up to express their disgust while the British Dental Association said such checks would be unethical and disputed claims they would determine whether someone was under the age of 18.
"It's not only an inaccurate method for assessing age, but it is both inappropriate and unethical to take radiographs of people when there is no health benefit for them," a spokesperson said.
But Davies, chairman of the Commons Welsh Affairs select committee, pressed on with his crusade this morning.
Speaking on BBC Radio Four’s Today programme, he said: “I think we’ve got a right to raise this question and the problem is if we don’t raise this question we allow ourselves to be carried along on a tide of emotion, Lily Allen-style with tears in our eyes.”
He then appeared on Good Morning Britain where he continued to fight his corner.
Responding to Morgan, he said: “I’m not suggesting they’re miscreants. You’re getting carried on a tide of emotion… I appreciate you feel very personally.”
But Morgan hit back: “I don’t like the demonisation. I think your proposal is offensive.”
It is not the first time that Davies, a part-time police constable, has caused offence. In 2012, he declared that “most parents would prefer their children not to be gay” and then suggested he could not be homophobic because he had once been in a fight with a gay boxer.
* Davies is known as ‘Top Cat’ to Tory colleagues because of his middle TC initials, which help to differentiate him from Brexit secretary David Davis.