Afghanistan: Corbyn’s plea for help for refugees

Islington North MP speaks out in emergency House of Commons debate

Friday, 20th August 2021

Jeremy Corbyn_August 2016

Jeremy Corbyn: ‘The government must respond to the very gener­ous requests made by a lot of local authorities offering everything they can to support refugees coming to this country’

ISLINGTON North MP Jeremy Corbyn has made a stirring plea for the government to help house Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban.

In an emergency debate in the House of Commons, he said: “If we are an open and welcoming society that does welcome refugees then we should mean it.”

Mr Corbyn was among speakers dis­cus­sing the Taliban’s seizure of power in Afghanistan and the des­perate attempts by people to leave the country this week.

“The government must respond to the very gener­ous requests made by a lot of local authorities offering everything they can to support refugees coming to this country,” he said. “But they need the financial support in order to house them, accommodate them and ensure they can be inte­grated into our society”.

He said the government needed “a change in the rhetoric”, adding: “We cannot say we are going to welcome all the Afghan refugees here, if at the same time we are passing legislation which crimin­alises those who save lives at sea – saving people who are fleeing, and trying to get to this country as a place of safety.”

The former leader of the Labour Party said there needed to be support for those who had “served and suffered” in Afghanistan – 456 British soldiers were killed in the conflict – and “a serious appraisal of how got there in the first place.”

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