Emeritus Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks has said the mounting migrant crisis calls to mind scenes reminiscent of the darkest days of the Second World War.

Speaking on Newsnight on Thursday night, Lord Sacks said: “Europe is being tested as it has not been tested since the Second World War. The European Union was created as a way of saying that we recognise human rights after the catastrophe of two world wars and the Holocaust, and it’s very chilling to see some of these scenarios being re-enacted.”

Lord Sacks said he didn’t want to make a “direct comparison” to the Holocaust, but warned “now is the time for humanitarian compassion”, suggesting that Britain needs to make a bold gesture like the Kindertransport to aid the humanitarian crisis.

Saying that a “very clear and conspicuous humanitarian gesture, like Kindertransport” was important, Lord Sacks said he believed the UK should take in 10,000 refugees.

“It’s a figure to which Britain would respond,” he added. “The churches, the religious groups, the charities would all join in… and I think we would be better for doing that.”