The Kent intake unit is a reception center for unaccompanied child asylum seekers in the UK. Murals depicting happy cartoon characters such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Tom and Jerry, and Baloo had been painted on the walls to help soothe the traumatized children.
But the immigration minister Robert Jenrick ordered the murals to be painted over. "He thought they were too welcoming and sent the wrong message." Link to the Guardian article here.
The shadow immigration minister, Stephen Kinnock, told the i: "The idea that painting over murals and removing entertainment for unaccompanied children in immigration centres will somehow stop the boats is utterly absurd.
"This is a sign of a chaotic government in crisis, whose failing approach means all they have left is tough talk and cruel and callous policies."
Charlotte Khan of the refugee charity Care4Calais sarcastically suggested replacement murals that would accurately convey the minister's message to the terrified children.
"If Mickey Mouse is too 'welcoming' for ministers, the question is what will they replace him with in order to inflict more fear on traumatised asylum seeking children – Maleficent? Ursula? Maybe even Cruella herself? The real villains in this sorry tale are Robert Jenrick and the rest of this heartless bunch that call themselves ministers."