MP’s plea over child refugees

Yvette Cooper.
Yvette Cooper.
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West Yorkshire MP Yvette Cooper has pleaded with Prime Minister David Cameron to take in child refugees.

Ms Cooper, who represents Castleford, Normanton and Pontefract, addressed Mr Cameron during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons. She claimed he had put Britain’s reputation “to shame” by refusing to take in unaccompanied child refugees who are stranded in Europe after fleeing conflict in Syria.

And she called on him to change his mind.

Ms Cooper delivered her impassioned speech after the government defeated a House of Lords bid for the UK to take in 3,000 unaccompanied refugees who had reached Europe by a majority of 18 votes, on Monday.

And 294 MPs voted to block an amendment tabled by Lord Alf Dubs to the Immigration Bill that would have forced the government into providing new homes for the youngsters.

The House of Lords voted in support of a new proposal, this time calling on ministers to relocate a ‘specified number’ of the child refugees, to be decided by the government.

In the House of Commons Mr Cameron said that children were “safe” once they entered the EU.

Ms Cooper, responding yesterday, said: “The Prime Minister has suggested that child refugees alone in Europe are safe.

“There are children’s homes full in Italy and Greece. Over a thousand children will sleep rough in Greece alone tonight.

“How are they safe? Ten thousand children have disappeared in Europe, how are they safe? It is not insulting other European countries to offer to help. They want us to help.”