Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Campaign group Liberty unveils its weapon against the "Racist Van"

Civil Rights group Liberty has unveiled its response to the government's "Go Home or Face Arrest" campaign vans against illegal immigrants.

The Liberty vans carry the slogan "Stirring up tension and division in the UK illegally?  Home Office, think again" and has been spotted driving in and around London.

In a statement Liberty said the Home Office campaign had "racist connotations - mirroring National Front slogans from the 1970s" and the vans were "deeply offensive and divisive and in breach of the Equality Act 2010 so therefore unlawful".

It said its van would circle the Home Office, Westminster and the surrounding area, before visiting Walthamstow and Kensal Green, scene of recent "spot checks" by immigration enforcement personnel who were accused of "racial profiling" after checking the papers of non-white tube passengers.

The uproar against the Home Office vans has prompted the Equality and Human Rights Commission to investigate the legality of the campaign.

The Refugee and Migrant Forum of East London has told the Home Office it had until 8 August to stop the campaign or it would apply for a judicial review.

The Labour peer Lord Lipsey reported the ads to the Advertising Standards Authority, and the union Unite said the government's campaign was "vile" and it was seeking legal advice.

Immigration Minister Mark Harper however, insists that the vans are part of a wider program that has led to a "dramatic" reduction in immigration in recent months.



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