MP describes travellers as "like a disease"

A Member of Parliament has described Travellers coming to his local area as “like a disease”.

Sir Paul Beresford, MP for Mole Valley made the comments in an adjournment debate in the House of Commons on Thursday 25th April.

He began by saying: "We're now in what we call the summer traveller season, it's like a disease."

Sir Paul said his part of Surrey was "attractive to travellers from afar, and many of those come with a distinct Irish accent".

He said while there are "a number of popular sites where there are no difficulties, no arguments", he said "some of the travelling community do not believe the law applies to them" when it comes to building on protected sites on green belt land or in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Ged Grebby, Chief Executive at Show Racism the Red Card said “For an MP to use this kind of language about a group of people in Parliament is shocking. Describing people as a disease is dehumanising and I have no idea why he would feel the need to mention that many of them have an Irish accent. Members of Traveller communities experience a high degree of prejudice and discrimination and Sir Beresford’s comments are unhelpful in trying to challenge this.”

For more information about this story, please see the original report on Surrey Live.