Brit Award-winning pop star Dua Lipa has said the way ministers discuss migrants is “short sighted and small minded”.
The 27-year-old, born in London to Kosovar-Albanian parents, called for “more empathy” and said she’d been “hurt” by the way the government had discussed Albanian people.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman has previously spoken of “Albanian criminals” crossings the Channel and likened the influx of small boats to an “invasion”.
“Of course it hurt,” Lipa said in an interview.
“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 short sighted and small minded, but it’s the way a lot of people think,” she told The Sunday Times.
She said the rhetoric that “immigrants are coming into the country and taking jobs” will always exist, despite many having come to London and “earned their keep by working incredibly hard”.
Ms Braverman’s comments have been called “very, very disgraceful” by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.
During a meeting with Rishi Sunak in March, Mr Rama cited Lipa as an example of the positive things that Albanian people bring to Britain.
He said: “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.”
Lipa’s parents left Kosovo in around 1992 – three years before the singer was born – due to tensions that eventually led to the Kosovo War in 1998.
In November, the Grammy Award-winning singer was granted Albanian citizenship.