Thank you for writing to me recently concerning unaccompanied refugee children and the debate that will take place on this in the House of Commons on 25th April.
As Labour’s spokesperson on refugees, I will be speaking in this debate and voting to support an amendment that would require the Government to relocate and support 3,000 unaccompanied children from Europe.
Having visited the refugee camps in Calais and Dunkirk earlier this year I know how appalling the conditions are that refugees are experiencing, just a short journey from our shores. These are no places for adults to live in, let alone unaccompanied children, and I believe the UK must play our part in helping tackle this.
That is why I will be speaking in favour of this amendment, which was passed by my Labour colleagues in the House of Lords.
I know from the many letters and e-mails I have received that there is also strong public support for this and that it is backed by a range of charities including UNICEF and Save the Children.
I believe the Government should have acted much more quickly on this over the last year and that their response to this appalling refugee crisis has been too slow, limited and reluctant. I hope they will now finally recognise we need to do more to help vulnerable child refugees and back this amendment in the House of Commons.
Keir Starmer QC MP
MP for Holborn & St Pancras and Shadow Immigration Minister