Government sources said she made it clear that she did not share these views and was simply explaining the “pull factors” that have led so many migrants to risk their lives in this way.
A deputy on the call told The Sun on Sunday: “Priti was asked why the migrants are so desperate to leave France and come here. She told us that some think racism is a problem.
“They say they feel discriminated against when, for example, looking for work in France. Others said they feared being tortured if they stayed in France or Germany.
“Priti stressed that she didn’t believe any of this was true. She was just trying to explain the pull factors.
However, another MP on the roll call was quoted as saying she left the impression that she thought the French were racist.
“She called them racist and she is right. They are more racist than we are, ”the MP told The Sunday Times.
A spokesperson for the Home Office said the UK was working with French authorities to stem small boat crossings.
However, the spokesperson said the government had limited policy space until the end of the Brexit transition period at the end of the year.
“The Home Secretary is clearly frustrated with the growing number of small boats crossing the Channel – this is made worse by the fact that we are currently limited in our response by EU regulations,” the spokesperson said. .
“This is why the Minister of the Interior has undertaken, along with other ministries and No. 10, to prepare legislation after the end of the transition period.”