‘The UK has a proud history of supporting refugees’

Mark Lancaster MP
Mark Lancaster MP

As Britain plans to take in thousands of Syrian asylum seekers, defence minister Mark Lancaster says he is “pleased” the Prime Minister has reviewed the situation.

David Cameron has announced the UK will take in more refugees from camps on Syrian borders next week.

It follows shocking images of drowned Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi who died trying to reach the Greek island of Kos.

The pictures of the three-year-old provoked an international outcry - calling for Mr Cameron to stop more refugee children from drowning.

Mark Lancaster MP for Milton Keynes North today said that as a father, he was “deeply shocked” by the image.

He said: “Here in the UK we have a proud history of supporting refugees and asylum seekers as demonstrated by our acceptance of nearly 5000 refugees from Syria since 2011.

“Whilst it is important that we distinguish genuine refugees from economic migrants, I’m pleased that the Prime Minister has said we will review the situation and how we as a nation, can best support by potentially accepting more refugees direct from the camps on the Syrian border.”

It is the thought Mr Cameron will today respond to demands for the UK to welcome more refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war.

In the last few minutes Mr Cameron said: “We have already accepted around 5,000 Syrians and we have introduced a specific resettlement scheme...to help those Syrian refugees particularly at risk.

“As I said earlier this week, we will accept thousands more under these existing schemes and we keep them under review. “And given the scale of the crisis ... today I can announce that we will do more, providing resettlement for thousands more Syrian refugees.

“We will continue with our approach of taking them from the refugee camps.

“This provides them with a more direct and safe route to the UK, rather than risking the hazardous journey which has tragically cost so many of their lives.”

Mr Lancaster added: “I’m equally proud that the UK has lead Europe in donating nearly £1 billion of humanitarian aid such as shelter and accommodation to Syrian refuges escaping the conflict who currently reside in camps in Lebanon and Jordan and am pleased that this will continue”