Gary Lineker and Emma Thompson back campaign asking Boris Johnson to help reunite refugee families

Families Together’s campaign seeks to allow child refugees to sponsor immediate family to join them in the UK

Isobel Lewis
Monday 28 September 2020 13:57
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Gary Lineker, Olivia Colman and Emma Thompson are among the celebrities to sign a letter calling on Boris Johnson to reunite refugee families.

More than 70 actors, singers, comedians, authors and artists have backed the campaign from the Families Together coalition, who want to change the UK’s rules on reuniting refugee families.

Under current rules, adult refugees can sponsor their immediate family members to join them in the UK, but child refugees are unable to do the same.

Telling the prime minister that he has the ability to “change lives” with the “stroke of a pen”, the letter reads: “Coronavirus has made us all acutely aware of how painful it is to be separated from our loved ones. But we know this separation is temporary.

“Sadly, this is not the case for everybody. For some children in the UK, being kept apart from the parents they so desperately need is an everyday reality - pandemic or not.”

From L-R: Thompson, Lineker and Colman all supported the campaign

Also among the signatories are the likes of Patrick Stewart, Michaela Coel, Richard Curtis and Kate Moss.

The Families Together coalition consists of more than 50 different organisations, including Amnesty International UK and the British Red Cross.

It is calling for child refugees to be able to sponsor their parents and siblings under the age of 25, as well as the reintroduction of legal aid for refugee family reunion.

Match of the Day host Lineker said: “There are children in the UK right now who have fled war and persecution and have no hope of seeing their parents or siblings again. We should be offering them support and compassion. A simple change to the rules could be transformational.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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