Open Letter to the Prime Minister

Huw Irranca-Davies MP has written to the Prime Minister in response to the latest scenes in the Mediterranean and enquires from scores of constituents.

Dear Prime Minister,

The scenes of human suffering in the Mediterranean due to the refugee crisis are deeply distressing, not least as we have failed as a nation to play our full part in alleviating the suffering. Whilst our humanitarian support for refugees in camps is both welcome and necessary, this is only a part of the solution to this crisis.

As I and others have argued before in Parliament, and on behalf of many of my constituents who have contacted me, I urge you and your government to change your position on accepting refugees. It is time for you to demonstrate compassionate and moral leadership, and for the UK to play our full part as a member of the international community.

The image of Alan Kurdi, the three year old Kurdish boy washed up on a Turkish beach who died alongside his five year old brother, Galip, and mother, Rehan, fleeing to Canada is heart breaking. Their father, Abdullah, has survived and his loss and grief is being felt deeply by many. Every day fathers, mothers, sons, daughters and families are dying and we have the ability to save them.

Wales, as stated by First Minister Carwyn Jones, “stands ready to play its full part to this unfolding humanitarian tragedy, just as we have always done in the past”. I urge you therefore to back the call to accept 10,000 refugees and work with the six point plan put forward by Yvette Cooper.

Britain has always proudly stepped up to assist in international crises. We have offered a safe haven for those fleeing conflict and persecution, from the Huguenots to the 10,000 Jewish children fleeing the Nazi’s. The mining communities of South Wales offered sanctuary and homes for children and families who fled from persecution and death under General Franco’s regime during and after the Spanish Civil War.

I urge you to follow this noble tradition, and act now.

The unwillingness to-date of the UK government to countenance accepting more refugees as part of an international response has been shameful. You have personally and consistently argued as Prime Minister that this is not the right response. You were consistently wrong, and the UK’s proud tradition of providing refuge for those in fear for their lives and the lives of their families has being badly undermined. More importantly, lives are being lost needlessly while we look on.

Change your policy please. Change it now.

I await your response with hope.

Yours sincerely,

Huw Irranca-Davies

MP for Ogmore