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Migrant crisis: Newham Council to accept 10 refugee families

PUBLISHED: 14:30 04 September 2015 | UPDATED: 14:59 04 September 2015

Migrants wait at a railway station in Budapest, Hungary. Picture: Zoltan Balogh/MTI via AP/PA Images

Migrants wait at a railway station in Budapest, Hungary. Picture: Zoltan Balogh/MTI via AP/PA Images

Newham Council has responded to the developing migrant crisis by agreeing to take in ten refugee families.

Prime Minister David Cameron is under pressure to allow more Syrian refugees into Britain. Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA WirePrime Minister David Cameron is under pressure to allow more Syrian refugees into Britain. Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The announcement comes as the prime minister, David Cameron, said Britain will act with “its head and its heart” by taking in “thousands more” Syrian refugees following a huge public response to photographs of a drowned boy in Turkey.

To help absorb the expected 4,000 new arrivals, the council has said it is “ready to play its part in a nationwide response”.

Ken Clark, cabinet member for building communities, said: “We are prepared to accept ten families initially, and we expect others to take on their fair share too, as part of a fully funded and co-ordinated response by central government.

“This needs to include long-term planning so that these families who have already faced terrible hardships are continually supported.”

The MP for West Ham, Lyn Brown, applauded Newham’s decision and said she supports Labour leadership contender Yvette Cooper’s call for every council in the country to do the same.

“I am proud that our mayor, Sir Robin Wales, has responded positively and agreed to take at least 10 refugee families into Newham,” she said. “It is the very least we can do.”

Meanwhile, the newly reformed Newham and Barking and Dagenham Liberal Democrats have said they are heading to Calais next month to provide migrants there with supplies.

Paul Reynolds, former Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for West Ham, said: “Refugees are being demonised and we want to do something about it. In the Second World War we took in Jews – now we should be taking these people.

“We are going to Calais because we want the people there to have warm clothing for the winter.

“Yesterday we raised £150 for the trip, and we welcome support from anyone – you don’t have to be a member of the Lib Dems.”


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