Ade Adepitans swipe at government over immigration: Heard it all before

Tokyo marks end of Paralympics as Team GB scoop 124 medals

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The Paralympic Games presenter and former wheelchair basketball star, 48, is a well-known face on British TV screens. He has been hosting Channel 4’s coverage of this year’s Games in Tokyo, which were delayed from last year due to COVID-19. The ex-athlete, who survived polio as a baby, bagged a bronze medal for Team GB at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens.

Ade also won silver in the European Championships and gold at the World Championships.

Team GB’s current crop of Paralympic heroes will be welcomed back to Britain at a homecoming event this afternoon. 

The live show, which is hosted by the National Lottery, kicks off at the SSE Arena, Wembley from 3pm.

The “high octane” Paralympics celebration will feature live music from Jamie Cullum, James Arthur, Birdy and Ella Henderson 

The two-hour event will also recall some of the magical moments from this year’s Games in Tokyo.

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Ade, who is known for his friendly on-screen persona, has not been afraid to open up about his own personal journey over the years.

The presenter has previously spoken out about the stigma around disability and his own wheelchair basketball career.

However, he has also waded into the political arena on occasion, including the debate about immigration to Europe.

The ex-athlete, who was born in Nigeria, penned a column for the Huffington Post in 2014 about his views on the subject.

Ade appeared critical of some of the rhetoric coming from then-Prime Minister David Cameron’s Government.

He wrote: “My usual view is ‘here we go again, I’ve heard it all before’.

“You’ve got the defence secretary Michael Fallon saying British towns are being ‘swamped’ with migrants and then former home secretary David Blunkett getting involved and praising these comments.”

Ade said he was happy for immigration to be debated but suggested the topic was a diversion from other worthwhile issues.

He added: “Personally, I think it’s a distraction from the real problems we face in the UK like tackling inequality, dealing with rising property prices and reinvigorating our education system for starters, but hey what do I know?

“Ok, I get it, the fastest way to make headlines is by coming out with a provocative statement.

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“But, are we really being overwhelmed by an influx of immigrants?

“I’m not a statistician, I don’t know all the figures on who’s coming into the UK.

“What I do know is that Mr Fallon and Mr Blunkett are just stoking unnecessary fires.”

Ade then referenced a recent survey from polling company Ipsos Mori which he said showed that the British public overestimated the number of immigrants in the country by almost double.

He added: “These misconceptions are very scary because government policies are based on the views of voters.

“As someone who has grown up with a disability, I’ve had to deal with people’s mistaken notions all my life.

“So, when so many of us in the UK make aberrations on an important issue like immigration I get very worried.”

Ade’s comments came soon after the Foreign Office announced it would not support any future search and rescue operations for migrants in the Mediterranean, including for those trying to cross from Africa to Italy.

More than 2,500 migrants were known to have died in the Mediterranean in 2014.
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