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Public school-educated gap-year activists are volunteers for charities that are ‘continually frustrating’ police in France in their attempt to stop illegal Channel crossings, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
French authorities have passed an intelligence dossier to the UK on the British charities operating in and around Calais.
The activists follow police, revealing their activities and locations in footage on social media available to migrants and people smugglers.
Rory Biggs O’May is known to French authorities for public-order offences including illegally squatting, damaging property and breaching lockdown rules
Isabella Anderson, niece of BBC television presenter Chris Packham, was a ‘field coordinator’ plotting the group’s response to French ‘police operations and emergencies’ during a gap year
The volunteers patrolling beaches and migrant camps ‘berate’ and disrupt officers, according to French authorities.
The charities – funded by donations from well-meaning Britons who believe their cash will go towards hot meals and warm clothes for migrants – say they monitor police to prevent them from committing human rights abuses.
But last night, Tory MP Lee Anderson said that those British charity workers interfering with French police are as ‘bad as the people smugglers’ because they are in effect ‘aiding and abetting’ the illegal gangs.
Mr Anderson, who last week visited the migrant camps in Calais, told the MoS he had personally observed charity workers ‘frustrating’ police.
‘The French police see these people attracting migrants to northern France and think, ‘Why should we help?’ It could not be clearer what their intentions are.
‘They are teaching them to speak and read and write in English – they are not getting them ready for a life in France,’ he added.
One Calais-based charity singled out in the dossier is the group Human Rights Observers (HRO), it is understood.
Grammar school and Oxford-educated socialist Serena Watson-Follett, 25, whose family home in a village near Bristol is worth almost £900,000, has also been involved with the charities
Footage on the charity’s social media shows a clash between volunteers and French police as they block officers in riot gear attempting to disperse a large groups of young, male migrants.
Among those involved with HRO is Rory Biggs O’May, who is known to French authorities for public-order offences including illegally squatting, damaging property and breaching lockdown rules.
French authorities have even considered denying the 23-year-old entry.
Mr Biggs O’May, the son of wealthy lawyers, attended a school with fees of up to £23,379 a year.
The family home is on a North London street where properties fetch more than £2 million.
They also own a £2 million, five-bedroom holiday home with a swimming pool in the New Forest.
Also involved with HRO is Isabella Anderson, niece of BBC television presenter Chris Packham.
She was a ‘field coordinator’ plotting the group’s response to French ‘police operations and emergencies’ during a gap year.
She is the daughter of the fashion designer Jenny Packham, who has made dresses for stars including the Princess of Wales.
Ms Anderson, 25, attended a boarding school with fees of up to £40,000 and the family home is in a Hampstead Heath Street where houses fetch more than £4 million.
HRO was one of the groups funded by Choose Love, a charity backed by stars including Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Labour Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, before it pulled funding from Calais in 2021 due to a dispute over leaflets handed out offering advice on crossing the Channel.
Joshua Evans-Jesra, 30, from Buckinghamshire, has produced an album titled End The Hostile Environment with tracks including When I Crossed The Border
Another of the charities understood to be identified, Solidarity Border, boasts on social media to have groups of volunteers ‘marauding’ round the coast of northern France, with large roving teams ‘mobilised from 9pm to 1am’ before another team takes over.
Others involved with the charities include Joshua Evans-Jesra, 30, from Buckinghamshire, who has produced an album titled End The Hostile Environment with tracks including When I Crossed The Border.
He has expressed support for a ‘no borders’ policy and backed activists who were attempting to block the deportation of migrants from the UK.
Grammar school and Oxford-educated socialist Serena Watson-Follett, 25, whose family home in a village near Bristol is worth almost £900,000, has also been involved with the charities.
While a student she was part of a group who attended immigration court hearings to report on the ‘injustice’ handed down to illegal migrants.
In December, a group of 20 activists surrounded two vans outside a French police station and prevented them from deporting or dispersing migrants who were waiting to cross the Channel.
A French Interior Ministry source confirmed that there was ‘ongoing frustration’ at the charities.
‘Aid workers are regularly involved in confrontations that can lead to violence,’ he said. ‘There are known troublemakers, and they will turn up during tense situations to cause problems.’
Another group understood to be referenced in the dossier is Roots. A comment posted by a migrant on its social media said that he had ‘safely reached London’ thanks to the charity, adding: ‘I safely reach my family because of you Roots people. I really thank you.’ The charity added that it was ‘happy to hear you made it to London safely’.
A Gendarme source said there is still anger among French security services about the tragic drowning of 27 migrants in November 2021.
The source added: ‘There is no doubt that the charities had been helping those on board in their illegal camp near Loon-Plage.
‘Encouraging them in this way proved an absolute disaster.’
Care4Calais, one of the most high-profile British charities in northern France, is also understood to be named in the French intelligence dossier.
Mr Anderson said that during his trip, a Care4Calais coordinator told him they believe in ‘open borders’ and a ‘universal passport’.
‘They also told me that 100 per cent of all asylum-seekers anywhere in the world should be able to come to Britain,’ he added.
Care4Calais said it provides humanitarian assistance to asylum-seekers and has no involvement in any illegal activities. There is no suggestion of wrongdoing.
The other charities did not respond to a request for comment.