THE boss of a high-profile Poole business has been slammed after posting a “disgraceful racist tweet” about migrants attempting to cross the Channel.

Meridian Lifts boss Andrew Tomlin tweeted: “Just sink them, once a few drowned they stop coming!!” in response to comments on @brexitblog_info

He posted the tweet on the afternoon of December 28 when a debate was underway about the increasing numbers of refugees attempting to enter the UK by crossing the Channel in small boats.

Twitter users responded immediately with comments such as “how disgusting”, “an abomination” and “what makes you think tweeting this is ok?”

Another said: “I don’t think your business will be on the up after this disgraceful racist tweet.”

Since then Mr Tomlin, founder and co-owner of the Holyrood Close business, has reiterated his views but attempted to disassociate them from his business.

When contacted by the Daily Echo, he said: “That is my personal view and it is nothing to do with the company. It is my personal twitter account.

“I think this is what they call fake news. It is people trying to link something to something else to cause hassle.”

Both Mr Tomlin’s personal twitter account and that of his business are protected.

He added: “I can’t remember exactly what I wrote. Everyone has an opinion on the migrant situation. I have no problem with migration if someone is coming to do a specific job.

“Every single person putting their lives at risk and those who have to risk their lives to rescue them are young people. They are in no danger in France or any of the countries they have passed through. They are coming to England because it is an easy life.”

When pressed on his comments he added: “It was tongue in cheek. It is just a phrase. No one is going to sink them but there has to be something to stop them continually coming.”

Since November around 220 people have attempted to cross the Channel in small boats, many thought to be Iranian or Syrian.

They include a group who were detained by police and Border Force agents on a beach in Lydd-on-Sea, Kent, at 6am yesterday.

Meridian Lifts is one of the sponsors of Poole Pirates and speedway is listed as one of Mr Tomlin’s interests on twitter.

He also cites motorcross, F1 and flying aircraft in his list of interests.

The Daily Echo attempted to contact Pirates boss Matt Ford but was unable to do so.

Meridian Lifts has been running for more than 20 years and has installations across Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Sussex.