LIBERAL DEMOCRAT COUNCILLORS CALL ON THE GOVERNMENT TO MAKE A MORE AMBITIOUS COMMITMENT TOWARDS AFGHANS FLEEING THE TALIBAN AND PLEDGE THEIR SUPPORT FOR WELCOMING REFUGEES TO WEST SUSSEX
Liberal Democrat councillors are calling on the government to make a more ambitious commitment to resettle refugees fleeing the Taliban. They have also today written to all council leaders and chief executives in West Sussex2 offering support for the councils ongoing work to welcome refugees to the county and join us in lobbying the government to welcome more Afghan refugees.
The Liberal Democrats have slammed the Government’s commitment to resettle just 5,000 Afghan refugees across the UK over the next year, saying it “falls woefully short” of what is needed in response to the unfolding humanitarian crisis.
The party also highlighted that 207 people3 have been resettled in West Sussex since 2016, under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme for refugees of the conflict in Syria. Furthermore, this summer Afghan families have already been arriving in West Sussex under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy.
Kirsty Lord, Liberal Democrat Group Leader on West Sussex County Council, said:
“West Sussex has a proud record of providing sanctuary to those in need. We have given a new home to 207 refugees fleeing the awful violence in Syria, and I know local people will welcome those escaping the Taliban now too.
“The Government must live up to its obligations by giving West Sussex County Council and our district and borough councils extra funding so we can house, support and integrate these refugees properly.
“With my fellow Liberal Democrats across West Sussex, we are today showing our support for the work our councils are doing for Afghans seeking refuge and have asked our councils to join us in pushing the government to help more women, men and children whose lives are at risk from the Taliban.”
Alistair Carmichael MP, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson, added:
“It's now or never to save innocent people from the terror of the Taliban. The Government must step up urgently and offer safe and legal routes to the UK for Afghan refugees who’ve been forced to flee their homes.
“A humanitarian crisis is unfolding before our eyes, and Priti Patel’s promise to resettle just 5,000 refugees over the next 12 months falls woefully short of meeting that challenge. I know the UK can do far better than that.”