The Liberal Democrats are calling for an immediate commitment to resettle 20,000 or more Afghan refugees. The priority should be to bring those most at risk to safety through an emergency Women and Girls Resettlement Scheme.
This commitment must be backed up with proper funding for local councils to house, support and integrate these refugees without placing even more strain on their already overstretched budgets. And that must be genuinely new funding, so as not to further deplete our overseas aid spending that the Conservatives have already cut so devastatingly.
The UK has a proud history of providing sanctuary. We must make the most vulnerable refugees, fleeing persecution, welcome. It’s the moral thing to do. The human thing to do.
Cllr Jenny Batt said; “Sutton Council has been put under massive pressure due to reduced government contributions to council budgets but the Liberal Democrats will always put our most vulnerable members of the community first. The scenes we have seen from Afghanistan are heart-breaking and many women and girls are terrified about what is to come. Afghan women have sacrificed much for their hard won freedoms which have now been snatched away from them. We know there are already many thousands of displaced Afghans and estimates suggest that nearly 70% of those are women and children. We must do everything we can to provide safety and sanctuary to as many as possible.
Hina Bokhari Liberal Democrat London Assembly member and spokesperson for Sutton and Cheam, said: “I am proud that London continues to be open to all and the councils across the city are working hard to welcome Afghan refugees. It is clear that the government has failed the people of Afghanistan and it is only right that the government now does their part in providing funding to all councils to help provide sanctuary to refugees.”