HENLEY MP John Howell has hit back at criticism over opposing a bill amendment that would have allowed 3,000 child refugees into the UK from Europe
HENLEY MP John Howell has hit back at criticism over opposing a bill amendment that would have allowed 3,000 child refugees into the UK from Europe.
On Monday he voted against the Dubs amendment, put forward by Labour peer Lord Alf Dubs, which had proposed an amendment to the Immigration Bill.
If it had passed it would have seen the UK take on 3,000 unaccompanied and at-risk children currently living in refugee camps.
Mr Howell believes the amendment was the wrong way of tackling the problem. He said: “Some who have written to me claim that I have ‘turned away 3,000 Syrian child refugees from the UK’ that it is ‘sickening’ and ‘disgusting’. Unfortunately, they did not read the debate and neither do they want to engage with the real issue.”
Mr Howell said if it had gone through, the pressure on developed countries to take refugees would be removed, adding: “These are just the sort of countries which have the capacity to support refugees and should be doing so.”
The Government has pledged that Britain will accept 20,000 refugees from Syria over five years.
A group of lobbyists called Henley Syrian Refugee Support, led by former immigration barrister Nicola Scannell, from Northend, was formed in February. They believe the figure to be too low and that more could be done to help in Henley.
The group criticised Mr Howell for his response when they lobbied him on the issue in January.