GB News: Fiery clash over councils taking in Afghan refugees
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Former Labour Minister Caroline Flint called for more UK councils to step up to the plate and take on more refugees following reports two-thirds of authorities have not provided help so far from those who have fled Afghanistan. But ex-Conservative Housing Minister Esther McVey refuted Ms Flint’s suggestion that it was always the poorer councils left to deal with big issues and stated individual areas had their own problems that needed to be acknowledged. The pair began shouting over each other through forced smiles after they spoke with a mayor on GB News who said it would be fair to name and shame councils not pulling their weight.
The Government revealed two-thirds of UK councils have yet to come forward and help resettle Afghan migrants entering the UK.
As part of the UK’s resettlement scheme, around 20,000 Afghan migrants will be taken in over the course of the next few years with “Operation Warm Welcome” launched to help them assimilate into UK culture.
But many councils across the UK have refused to lend a hand stating they lack housing for locals as is.
Manchester mayor Andy Burnham called for a “fairer” system after Manchester Evening News revealed over a thousand refugees have already been resettled in the Greater Manchester area alone.
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Ms Flint commented on the news and said: “I noticed from my time as an MP, it is often the poorer areas who actually step up for both people leaving prison, for refugees and others.
“And there isn’t the same pressure put on some of the wealthier areas and they should step up.”
Ms McVey interjected and dismissed the “division” of rich versus the poor before adding each case should be treated on its own merits.
The presenters then began raising their voices with Ms Flint stating it was a “fact” that poorer councils took in the most.
According to ITV, Derby City council have pledged to help rehome refugees with a local charity claiming 70 refugees are already being helped.
Most councils across the UK are letting in only a few families each as they scramble to find housing for them.
UK councils 'havent got housing stock' for refugees says Carr
Ms Flint continued: “It has been going on for years this, the more deprived areas take more of their fair share.
“Not just people from overseas but people who are ex-offenders because that’s where the housing is.
“Maybe it is because the Government is only willing to pay for rentals for a certain number meaning in the affluent areas they’re not prepared to pay the costs.”
Speaking to Channel 4, Milton Keynes Liberal Democrat Councillor Jane Carr blasted the Home Office and demanded more was given to councils to help with the resettling.
She said: “For those that are coming in at the moment they’re all in transition so it’s finding them homes.
“And that could be anywhere in the country not necessarily here in Milton Keynes.
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“But if we are going to be rehousing families here we need the Home Office to be able to find the funding in order to obtain those rooms.
“Because we don’t have housing stock sitting here doing nothing.”
The Home Office has pledged £5million to councils across the UK to help with housing costs and resettling Afghan refugees.
Additional funds have been made available to educate Afghan children and for mental health support.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson launched Operation Warm Welcome which will be led by Priti Patel to ensure incoming Afghan refugees are given the right humanitarian care upon their arrival to the UK.
Mr Johnson said: “Though we would not have wished to leave in this way, we have to recognise that we came in with the US in defence and support of the US.
“And though we now leave with the US, we will remain represented in the region, we’re doubling our humanitarian assistance, development assistance this year to £286m…
“I am determined we welcome them with open arms and put in place the support they need to rebuild their lives.”
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