Robert Jenrick’s version of Disneyland

In wake of decision to remove murals at an asylum centre for unaccompanied children, Conservatives colleagues briefed against him and even Nigel Farage called him “mean”

The phrase “Mickey Mouse politics” is normally used as an insult to suggest a political leader is amateurish or stupid.

Today, however, we actually have a story about Mickey Mouse politics.

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick has had a bad week. On Tuesday i revealed that Jenrick ordered staff to paint over cartoon murals of Disney characters at an asylum centre in Kent for unaccompanied children, because they were too welcoming. That’ll show ’em!

After that, things rapidly got worse for the gaffe-prone minister.

Staff refused to take down the murals. Outside contractors were called in. Whitehall officials and some of Jenrick’s Conservative colleagues briefed against him.

Several believe he is trying to compete with his boss, the Home Secretary Suella Braverman, on who can be toughest on migration.

Some Tory MPs are angry. They question Jenrick’s judgement and suggest that he has damaged the Conservative brand, as they rocket towards a general election that will decide their futures.

Jenrick’s intervention was bizarre and needless. The children who are sent to this asylum centre have travelled alone through Europe and crossed the Channel with only the clothes on their backs. When they get to Kent, they are not secretly sending messages back home about the quality of cartoon artwork on the walls.

The stress of trying to meet the Government’s pledge on migrants appears to be getting to Jenrick.

Even Nigel Farage calls him “mean”. The job of government is tricky enough without unforced errors making life harder.

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