Francois Hollande says 'Jungle' camp in Calais must be "completely dismantled"

He said British authorities must "play their part" in solving the crisis at the French port city

Francois Hollande says 'Jungle' camp in Calais must be "completely dismantled"

Image: Gareth Fuller / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Francois Hollande has repeated his call for the refugee & migrant camp at Calais to be "completely dismantled".

Speaking during his first visit to the town, the French President insisted the sprawling settlement would be demolished before winter, adding Britain must share responsibility for solving the crisis.

"I am determined to see British authorities play their part in the humanitarian effort that France is undertaking here," he said.

Mr Hollande is meeting police, local politicians, business leaders and representatives from civil-society groups during his visit, but he is not expected to venture into the sprawling camp itself on the outskirts of the town.

Known as the 'Jungle', the camp is home to 9,000 people trying to get to Britain after fleeing conflict and poverty in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Three weeks ago lorry drivers, shopkeepers, farmers and police officers blockaded the main motorway into Calais and demanded authorities demolish the camp.

Britain has already committed around £85m (around €98m) in total to reinforce security in the Calais region and last year it was announced an extra £7m (€8m) would be provided towards increasing security at the Channel Tunnel railhead at Coquelles. 
Last week, presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy visited Calais and warned it was not up to France to police England's borders.

The former French president, who signed an agreement in 2003 which effectively moved Britain's border to mainland France, is campaigning for a return to office with a strong stance on immigration.

Foundations are being built for a fence along the motorway to the port which is intended to add a further layer of protection against migrants' attempts to stow away on passing lorries bound for Britain.

The 13ft barrier, which would stretch for one kilometre (0.6 miles), has been criticised by hauliers as a poor use of taxpayers' money which they say would be better spent on increasing security on the port's final approach roads.