Dua Lipa hits out at UK ministers’ anti-migrant comments

Dua Lipa hits out at UK ministers’ anti-migrant comments
The popstar, who is of Kosovar-Albanian origin, has spoken out in defence of Palestinians in the past.
3 min read
05 June, 2023
Dua Lipa, 27, was born in London to parents who fled pre-war tensions in present-day Kosovo in the early 1990s [Loic Venance/AFP via Getty]

British popstar Dua Lipa has hit out at UK government ministers for disparaging comments they have made about migrants and refugees.

The singer, who is of Kosovar-Albanian descent, said in an interview by The Sunday Times that comments by UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman about Albanians being part of an "invasion" of the UK had pained her.

"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," Lipa said in the interview published online Saturday.

"There needs to be more empathy, because people don’t leave their country unless they have to out of necessity, out of fear for their family."

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Braverman said in October last year that "Albanian criminals" crossing the Channel were part of "invasion" by migrants of the UK.

The UK's ruling Conservative Party has in recent years moved to clamp down hard on immigration to the country and ramped up rhetoric against migrants.

Some of its moves, including the deportation of migrants and refugees to Rwanda while paperwork to grant them asylum in the UK is processed, have drawn outcry from lawyers and human rights groups.

The UK government announced plans last month to house hundreds of asylum seekers on a barge off of England’s south coast as it looks to slash costs of accommodating new arrivals but the move has been slammed by rights groups.

Lipa, 27, was born in London to parents who fled pre-war tensions in present-day Kosovo in the early 1990s.

She is currently one of the world’s best-known singers, and has in recent years branched out into non-musical pursuits including acting, publishing, and podcast hosting.

Unlike many other such high-profile artists, Lipa has spoken out about injustices worldwide.

In 2021, she urged for an end to Israel’s bombing of the besieged Gaza Strip in which more than 250 Palestinians were killed.

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She and other celebrities who had criticised Israel for its bombing campaign and other violations against Palestinians were targeted in a full-page advert taken out by a pro-Israel organisation in The New York Times, which branded them "anti-Semitic".

Lipa doubled down on her stance.

"This is the price you pay for defending Palestinian human rights against an Israeli government whose actions in Palestine both Human Rights Watch and the Israeli human rights organisation B'Tselem accuse of persecution and discrimination," she said at the time.

The Palestinian grassroots Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement last year urged Lipa to end a collaboration with sports brand Puma, which is the main sponsor of the Israeli Football Association that operates in illegal Israeli settlements.