Lord Dubs tells Labour conference: UK should welcome 10,000 more child refugees
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Lord Dubs tells Labour conference: UK should welcome 10,000 more child refugees

Peer who arrived in the UK on the kindertransport calls for the government to implement a scheme he has been campaigning for

Lord Alf Dubs
Lord Alf Dubs

A former minister who arrived in the UK having fled from the Nazis has suggested a further 10,000 unaccompanied child refugees should be welcomed to the UK.

Lord Dubs, who escaped on a Kindertransport from Prague in the summer of 1939 when he was just six years old, urged a future Labour government to implement a new scheme over a five-year period.

The Labour peer expressed his frustration at the Government’s decision to cap the number of child asylum seekers to be accepted under an amendment he moved at 480 rather than his desired 3,000.

He said around 220 unaccompanied minors have been accepted under the scheme, which he described as a “derisory” total.

After praising Labour’s policy toward refugees, he also asked if the party could go further.

Lord Dubs told the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool: “What we’d really like is very simple, so modest that I think it’s almost not enough, but what we’d like is for a Labour government – a Tory government if they’ll do it, but they won’t – to make a commitment to have 10,000 unaccompanied child refugees brought over to Britain from Europe and from the region.

“I’m being very modest – over a five-year period – that’s three per local authority per year. That’s not very much, it’s almost too little – you can throw me off the platform for being too modest.”

After a delegate shouted “more”, Lord Dubs joked to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn: “I agree – Jeremy, they say more.

“It’s actually shameful that such a modest request is one no British government under the Tories can achieve or be willing to achieve.”

This comes after Barnet Council pledged to take in vulnerable young people fleeing conflict following a campaign run by Finchley Progressive Synagogue alongside Middlesex University Students Union and Citizens UK.

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