We cannot stand by and watch ... ‘Politically speaking’ by Paula Sherriff, MP for Dewsbury and Mirfield

Issue 702

I am sure many have seen the heart breaking images of Aylan, the young Syrian boy whose body was found swept up on a Turkish beach.

Words cannot describe how harrowing this image was for anyone to see.

But this is just one image. Thousands of men, women and children have lost their lives this summer fleeing their home country in order to save themselves and their families, only to be crammed into unsafe boats and trucks by people traffickers who have no regard for their lives whatsoever.

So far the response from the Prime Minister and the Government has been poor.

With the 2,500 people estimated to have lost their lives in the Mediterranean this summer, Britain has taken in just 216 Syrian refugees. This is a humanitarian crisis of a colossal scale and as a nation we cannot stand by and watch.

This week David Cameron announced that his government will be willing take in 4,000 refugees a year until 2020. This is significantly less than other European countries.

I am calling on the Prime Minister to act now rather than look on by as he has done all summer.

It was also stated by a Minister in the Lords that under the Government’s current plans orphans and children who are given refuge will be deported upon turning 18.

This response not only lacks compassion, but demonstrates that the Government’s response has not been properly thought through. It provides no stability for those fleeing unimaginable horror.

For the longer term we need a political solution in the region to provide stability for the people there, but we must also respond to the immediate crisis now.

This is not an issue of being politically popular. It is our duty as a nation to look after those in need, and to do everything we can to help put an end to this humanitarian disaster.

This Saturday between 10am and 6pm, a team of volunteers will be holding a collection at Dewsbury Women’s Centre, Wellington Street, Dewsbury, on behalf of onenationuk.org for ‘Aid 4 Refugees’.

Items needed include clothing, toiletries, tents and bedding etc.

If you have anything you can spare then please do all you can to support the event.

Paula



• What do you think about Paula Sherriff MP’s views? Email forum@thepressnews.co.uk and have your say.

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