Singer Dua Lipa has criticised the way ministers have discussed migrants as “shortsighted and small-minded”.
Lipa, born in London to Kosovan-Albanian parents, said the way the government has discussed Albanians caused her “hurt” as she called for “more empathy”.
The home secretary, Suella Braverman, singled out “Albanian criminals” as she claimed there was an “invasion” of England in a Commons debate in October on small boat crossings of the Channel.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Lipa, 27, said: “Of course it hurt. All those words thrown around about immigrants? I always felt London was an amalgamation of cultures. It is integral to the city.
“So when you hear the government talk about Albanians, for example, it hurts. It’s shortsighted and small-minded, but it’s the way a lot of people think.
“No matter how we try to change the rhetoric, there will always be those who think, ‘Immigrants are coming into the country and taking jobs.’
“However, immigrants who have come here have earned their keep by working incredibly hard. There needs to be more empathy, because people don’t leave their country unless they have to out of necessity, out of fear for their family.”
Albania’s prime minister Edi Rama has criticised the “very, very disgraceful” singling out of Albanians by ministers, particularly Braverman.
During a meeting with Rishi Sunak in No 10 in March, Rama cited Lipa as an example of the positives that Albanians bring to Britain.
“Dua Lipa is not just simply a British singer, but she’s an Albanian immigrant that has come here, as many have come, to construct, to nurse, to cook and to sing for you, and we want to make sure that this community feels not only safe but feels honoured here,” he said.
Lipa’s parents left Kosovo around 1992, as the tensions that led to the war that started six years later began to surface.
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