|Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has this week visited a refugee charity in Gloucestershire to announce an ambitious manifesto commitment for refugees.
The manifesto sets out a plan to take 50,000 refugees over five years from Syria in the next parliament, as well as reopening the Dubs programme for unaccompanied asylum seeking children stranded in Europe, and working with international partners to create safe and legal routes.
Under Prime Minister Theresa May, the Conservatives have u-turned on two previous pledges, one to take more refugees from Syria and another to help abandoned child refugees.
Lib Dem Leader Tim Farron said:
“This is about the sort of country we are. The Britain I love is an open, tolerant, united country with a generous spirit and compassion for those in need. I love my country – and I hate it when my government makes me feel ashamed.
“Faced with suffering and trauma on a scale not seen since the Second World War, Theresa May has wilfully chosen to tear up her promises to help some of the most vulnerable children and people in the world.
“In the last two years I have visited refugees in Calais, Lesbos and Macedonia. I’ve looked these refugees in the eye and seen their suffering. By committing to taking 10,000 Syrian refugees a year and reopening Dubs we can do our part to ease that suffering.
“And that’s why I’m proud that I lead a party that welcomes refugees and accepts its responsibilities. It’s the decent thing to do. It’s the right thing to do. And it’s the patriotic thing to do.”
Lib Dems in Sevenoaks, led by Eastern ward Councillor Elizabeth Purves, were also proud to be part of a successful community-wide campaign to petition Sevenoaks District Council (SDC) to enable a Syrian refugee family to move to a suitable house in the village of Eynsford.
Before this, Conservative-run SDC were the only council in Kent who had refused to house a Syrian refugee family.
Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate Alan Bullion, and author of ‘India, Sri Lanka and the Tamil Crisis’ said:
I am happy to sign the Refugee Pledge – The full text of the Refugees Welcome Pledge reads:
I pledge to respect the importance of refugee protection, including in wide-ranging debates about immigration, and, if elected, to uphold the proud tradition throughout the UK of welcoming people forced to flee war and persecution and helping them rebuild their lives.
10,000 Jewish children found refuge here through the Kindertransport scheme during the Second World War; we’re proud that Britain was there for Uganda’s Asians during their escape from brutal dictator Idi Amin, and we’re proud that Britain will offer a safer future to 20,000 Syrian men, women and children during their hour of greatest need.
Published and Promoted by Alastair MacPherson, on behalf of Alan Bullion and Sevenoaks Liberal Democrats, Well Road, Otford, Sevenoaks, Kent.
picture credit: Trocaire from Ireland