Vulnerable Syrian children should be allowed into UK, says Wiltshire MP
Updated 6:35pm Tuesday 21st January 2014 in Latest News
North Wiltshire MP James Gray has called on the government to open Britain’s doors to Syria's most vulnerable child refugees.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has asked Western governments to accept vulnerable refugees trapped in neighbouring countries.
Although 18 countries have signed up, it is still more than 10,000 places short of its target.
Mr Gray said today: “I congratulate the government on committing £600m of humanitarian aid, making us the second highest donor after the United States.
"But we can and we must do more. As I said in the House yesterday, we must welcome with open arms our share of the 10,000 vulnerable children who have fled Syria and still need a home.
"Our allies like the USA, France and Germany have agreed to do so, and we must do the same.”
In a Parliamentary question, Mr Gray said to Mark Harper, Minister for Immigration: "Does he not accept that what the UNHCR has asked for - that a small number of extremely vulnerable children be helped by coming to this country?
"We could do at a very limited cost to ourselves, and not as an alternative to the things he is talking about, but as well as?"
Mr Harper replied: "We have taken the view that the best way to help people is in the region.
"Most of the Syrian refugees do not want to come to another country; they want to return to Syria when it is safe, and by supporting them in the region, we enable them to do so. That is the right way to help significant numbers of people.
"Our support is helping not hundreds but hundreds of thousands of people, which is the right thing to do."
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