Britain could take 20,000 refugees this year and children will not be deported at 18, David Cameron insists

PM said there was 'no limit' on the number of Syrians the UK could take in by the end of this year, but No. 10 made clear it would not exceed 20,000

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Britain could take in as many as 20,000 Syrian refugees this year, David Cameron has suggested as he insisted children will not be deported when they turn 18.

The Prime Minister told MPs this afternoon that there was "no limit" on the number of Syrians that could be accepted by the end of 2015, but Number 10 sources made clear that the 20,000 figure announced on Monday would not be exceeded.

He dismissed claims made by former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown that the Government's asylum policy meant that Syrian refugee children allowed into the UK could be deported when they turned 18.

Mr Cameron's promise on Monday that Britain would take in "up to 20,000" Syrians by 2020 led to criticism that he was not doing enough to help a growing refugee crisis, with critics saying 4,000 a year paled into comparison to other European neighbours.

Germany's deputy leader yesterday said his country could cope with more than 500,000 a year.

Mr Cameron, speaking at Prime Minister's Questions, told the Commons: "We've committed to taking 20,000 people, I want us to get on with that, there's no limit on the amount of people that could come in the first year.

“We have to go to the camps, find the people, make sure they get housed, we have to find schools for the children."