Huge wave of migrants reaches UK in new single-day record

At least 409 migrants have reached UK shores in a rush of small boats, a new single-day record.

A wave of people took advantage of flat seas in the English Channel on Wednesday, with hundreds of migrants intercepted in the Channel while others managed to land on beaches.

Wednesday's record total surpasses the previous high of 235, set on August 6.

It brings the total number of migrants who have crossed the sea to Britain in 2020 to more than 5,600, analysis by the PA news agency shows.

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Parliament that the UK is a "target and magnet" for people traffickers and vowed to change the law to help tackle the crisis.

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Migrant crossings in Channel reach record high
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Migrant crossings in Channel reach record high
A Border Force vessel brings a group of people thought to be migrants into the port city of Dover, England, from small boats, Friday Aug. 7, 2020. The British government says it will strengthen border measures as calm summer weather has prompted a record number of people to attempt the risky sea crossing in small vessels, from northern France to England. (Gareth Fuller/PA via AP)
A Border Force officer helps a child from a Border Force vessel as a group of people thought to be migrants are brought into the port city of Dover, England, from small boats, Friday Aug. 7, 2020. The British government says it will strengthen border measures as calm summer weather has prompted a record number of people to attempt the risky sea crossing in small vessels, from northern France to England. (Gareth Fuller/PA via AP)
Border Force officers escort a group of men thought to be migrants to a waiting bus, after they were brought into the port city of Dover, England, from small boats, Friday Aug. 7, 2020. There have been a number of small boat incidents over recent days, with some unseaworthy vessels trying to make the journey from France across The Channel, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. (Gareth Fuller/PA via AP)
Border Force officers escort a group of men thought to be migrants to a waiting bus, after they were brought into the port city of Dover, England, from small boats, Friday Aug. 7, 2020. There have been a number of small boat incidents over recent days, with some unseaworthy vessels trying to make the journey from France across The Channel, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. (Gareth Fuller/PA via AP)
Border Force officers escort a group of men thought to be migrants to a waiting bus, after they were brought into the port city of Dover, England, from small boats, Friday Aug. 7, 2020. There have been a number of small boat incidents over recent days, with some unseaworthy vessels trying to make the journey from France across The Channel, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. (Gareth Fuller/PA via AP)
A group of migrants rest on the beach as they wait for Uk Border Force officials at Dungeness, southern England, Thursday Aug. 6 2020. The British government says it will strengthen border measures as calm summer weather has prompted a record number of people to make the risky sea crossing in small vessels, from northern France to England. (AP Photo / Susan Pilcher)
A pregnant woman among a group of migrants as they rest on the beach waiting for Uk Border Force officials at Dungeness, southern England, Thursday Aug. 6 2020. The British government says it will strengthen border measures as calm summer weather has prompted a record number of people to attempt the risky sea crossing in small vessels, from northern France to England. (AP Photo / Susan Pilcher)
A group of migrants rest on the beach as they wait for Uk Border Force officials at Dungeness, southern England, Thursday Aug. 6 2020. The British government says it will strengthen border measures as calm summer weather has prompted a record number of people to attempt the risky sea crossing in small vessels, from northern France to England. (AP Photo / Susan Pilcher)
A group of migrants rest on the beach as they wait for Uk Border Force officials at Dungeness, southern England, Thursday Aug. 6 2020. The British government says it will strengthen border measures as calm summer weather has prompted a record number of people to attempt the risky sea crossing in small vessels, from northern France to England. (AP Photo / Susan Pilcher)
A migrant rest on the beach, with others, as they wait for Uk Border Force officials at Dungeness, southern England, Thursday Aug. 6 2020. The British government says it will strengthen border measures as calm summer weather has prompted a record number of people to attempt the risky sea crossing in small vessels, from northern France to England. (AP Photo / Susan Pilcher)
A British Border Force vessel carries a group of men thought to be migrants into Dover harbour, Southern England, Tuesday Aug. 4, 2020. A number of incidents involving small boats crossing The Channel to Britain are reported over the past few days, as migrants take advantage of warm calm weather to cross the busy shipping lanes. (Gareth Fuller/PA via AP)
EDITORS NOTE: IMAGE PIXELATED BY PA PICTURE DESK A Border Force vessel brings a group of people thought to be migrants into Dover, Kent, following a number of small boat incidents in The Channel.
EDITORS NOTE: IMAGE PIXELATED BY PA PICTURE DESK A Border Force officer helps a young boy from a Border Force vessel as a group of people thought to be migrants are brought into Dover, Kent, following a number of small boat incidents in The Channel.
EDITORS NOTE: IMAGE PIXELATED BY PA PICTURE DESK A young girl is escorted by a Border Force officer as groups of people thought to be migrants are brought into Dover, Kent, following a number of small boat incidents in The Channel.
EDITORS NOTE: IMAGE PIXELATED BY PA PICTURE DESK A Border Force officer helps a young boy from a Border Force vessel as a group of people thought to be migrants are brought into Dover, Kent, following a number of small boat incidents in The Channel.
A Border Force vessel brings a group of people thought to be migrants into Dover, Kent, following a number of small boat incidents in The Channel.
PIXELATED BY THE PA PICTURE DESK A young girl is carried by a Border Force officer as a group of people thought to be migrants are brought into Dover, Kent, following a number of small boat incidents in The Channel earlier this morning.
Border Force officers escort a group of men thought to be migrants onto a waiting bus after they were brought into Dover, Kent, following a number of small boat incidents in The Channel earlier this morning.
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Balmy sunshine and crystal clear conditions meant that France was clearly visible from Dover throughout the day.

Large numbers of migrants were seen being brought into the Kent port, packed aboard Border Force patrol vessels and sitting on the front of lifeboats.

Some smiled and waved as they arrived while others carried toddlers too young to walk.

Numbers arriving were so high that dozens of migrants spent an hour sat on Border Force boats in the harbour before they were allowed to disembark.

Meanwhile, empty dinghy after empty dinghy were towed in from the Channel.

On Wednesday evening, the Home Office confirmed that at least 409 migrants had reached the UK by small boat.

More incidents were ongoing and that number could be revised up.

In recent weeks, the Home Office has sought to blame French authorities and "activist lawyers" for rising numbers of crossings and difficulties removing asylum seekers once they arrive in Britain.

Last month, Home Secretary Priti Patel appointed former Royal Marine Dan O'Mahoney to the post of "clandestine Channel threat commander".

He is expected to be among those giving evidence about migrant crossings to the Home Affairs Committee on Thursday.

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