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Labour peer has taken in Syrian refugee after visiting Calais jungle

Lord Bassam is believed to be the first UK politician to provide a home for refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict

Tom Peck
Tuesday 07 March 2017 16:01 GMT
Lord Bassam and his wife have had a Syrian refugee woman living at their home for the last five months
Lord Bassam and his wife have had a Syrian refugee woman living at their home for the last five months (PA Archive/PA Images)

A senior Labour peer has taken a young Syrian refugee into his home after visiting the Calais ‘jungle’ camp.

Lord Bassam, the Labour Chief Whip in the Lords, said he and his wife had been living with the woman at their home for the last five months.

In an interview with The House magazine, Lord Bassam said: “I’ve done quite a bit of work on fundraising and stuff, supported by colleagues in here. My wife and I took quite a lot of stuff over there and we organised giving the kids in the Jungle football kits.

"We’ve currently got a young Syrian woman living with us. She's been living with us for four or five months now. She’s lovely. She managed to get out of Syria to do a Masters and she’s finishing that and she has now, partly with our help, managed to make an asylum application. So I think that’s been a really positive thing."

Yvette Cooper and Nicola Sturgeon have both personally pledged to take in Syrian refugees but no politician apart from Lord Bassam is believed to have actually done so.

Lord Bassam criticised the government’s decision to suspend the Dubs Amendment to resettle unaccompanied child refugees in the UK.

The peer said: "I’m really very disturbed by the way the Government’s policies developed over refugees and their inability to grapple with the overwhelming humanitarian need of the kids. It really distresses me. That’s why one of my political superheroes is Alf Dubs."

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