Dentists condemn MP's migrant teeth test call


A Tory MP has been condemned by dentists after calling for tests on teeth to verify the age of child migrants.

The British Dental Association (BDA) said demands by David Davies for testing on those heading to Britain from the Jungle refugee camp was "inappropriate and unethical".

Mr Davies, chairman of the Commons Welsh Affairs select committee, said mandatory dental checks would reassure the public the system was not being exploited.

After the arrival of 14 teenagers to the UK from Calais on Monday, the Monmouth MP said they "don't look like 'children".

"I hope British hospitality is not being abused", he added.

The BDA has disputed claims that dental radiographs can accurately say if someone has reached 18 years of age.

A spokesman said: "We are vigorously opposed to the use of dental X-rays to determine whether asylum seekers have reached 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.

"X-rays taken for a clinically-justified reason must not be used for another purpose without the patient's informed consent, without coercion and in full knowledge of how the radiograph will be used and by whom."

The Jungle refugee camp could be closed imminently after a French court rejected an appeal from aid groups to delay the clearance.

French authorities are expected to empty the migrant camp in Calais in the coming weeks and dismantle it by the start of winter.

A Lille court has rejected a request from aid groups to postpone the closure, arguing that authorities are not ready to relocate its residents.

Charity groups warned that many of the migrants do not want to stay in France and may set up camp elsewhere to continue trying to cross the English Channel to Britain.

The French interior and housing ministers welcomed the court's ruling and said the camp should be dismantled before winter sets in.