Bradford calls for support for refugees
‘City of Sanctuary’ politicians urge nation’s leaders to act now
As the world continues to react to the shocking image of a young child refugee washed up on a Turkish beach, politicians in Bradford have been voicing their support for Britain to take in more refugees.
On Friday, Bradford West MP Naz Shah called on Prime Minister David Cameron to take ‘moral leadership’ and responsibility on the Syrian refugee crisis by working with European partners.
She backed calls from Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, for local authorities to take 10 families each, which could see Britain take in 10,000 more refugees.
“It is only right that we support vulnerable people and refugees,” she said. “Indeed this is the history of Bradford, our nation and our values.
“Bradford is already home to a large Syrian community and we are also proudly a City of Sanctuary, and I’m pleased our council leader has already spoken up and shown leadership on this issue.
“Why the Prime Minister is hesitant in this grave crisis is deeply worrying. We have all been left deeply upset by the tragic image of a small boy drowned and washed up on a Turkish beach – are we really going to continue to be a country that walks by on the other side of the road and does nothing?
“I support Yvette Cooper’s call asking local authorities to take in 10 families each, which would mean 10,000 more Syrian refugees being accepted into our country if everyone plays their part.
“It is crucial that we, and the media, do not conflate a humanitarian crisis with the wider debate on immigration – these people should be regarded as refugees, not migrants.”
Earlier in the week, Bradford Council leader, David Green, said he was proud to see the city already working alongside Syrian refugees.
He added: “I am proud to say that we are one of the few cities in the UK that are already working with Syrian Refugees and we have given shelter to many already over the past couple of years. I hosted a reception for the first group to have settled in Bradford last year.
“Since then we have offered hospitality to many more fleeing the war in Syria and I can assure you that we will continue with this policy in the weeks and months to come.”