The Lib Dem Leader of the Opposition in Haringey, Cllr Gail Engert has penned an open letter calling on Labour-run Haringey Council to welcome refugees and calling for David Cameron to make a concrete commitment to accept many more refugees in the UK.
Haringey Liberal Democrats have also signed a pledge to make refugees welcome in Haringey (organised by the Selby Centre, Tottenham).
Your readers may well have seen the horrifying images on newspaper front pages of a three-year-old Syrian boy lying dead on a Turkish beach. I hope they share my anger that David Cameron is only making vague statements and not concrete, solid, commitments to help far more refugees.
Tim Farron MP, the Liberal Democrat leader said recently to The Independent that "Enough is enough," and ‘These pictures are beyond horrific. They are the wake-up call David Cameron needs.”
A petition calling on Parliament to debate the refugee issue has received over 200,000 signatures - well in excess of the 100,000 required for the Government to consider debating the issue. The more signatures there are, the more pressure there is – so I am asking your readers to take a few moments to sign the petition: http://bit.ly/1PNBQ3H
The Liberal Democrats believe that action should be taken immediately. We must start by talking about the practicalities and who we can help. We also need to create safe routes, which will stop the terrible loss of life we currently see in the Mediterranean.
The Leader of Lib Dem-run Sutton Council has said local councils should take refugees. Cllr Ruth Dombey said: "Local authorities across the country should respond by taking in refugees. Sutton stands ready to help." I urge the Labour Leader of Haringey Council to make the same commitment.
Many of us in Haringey have parents or grandparents who fled from persecution overseas and have been grateful of the warm welcome that Britain offered. We should not turn our back on refugees' suffering now.
Cllr Gail Engert
Haringey Liberal Democrat Leader of the Opposition
PS The Independent has suggestions for 5 practical ways for how you can help now: http://ind.pn/1N5tzcn