Sunday, October 30, 2016

Labour council blasted as 'hypocrites' for bringing migrant children to the UK because they 'had to do something' - then refusing to house them when they got here

  • Council pledged to bring migrant children to the UK from camps in Calais
  • Hammersmith and Fulham made promise after a visit to the Jungle camp 
  • But now they have refused to house them and after newcomers arrived
  • Council bosses denied claim and said they are 'ready for more' refugees
A Labour council has been branded 'publicity seeking' after demanding migrants be sheltered in their area - then refusing to house them or foot the bill when they arrived.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council, in wealthy West London, pledged to take in more migrants from Calais.

But after 'posturing' the council has organised for the newcomers to stay outside their area, and demanded that the UK government foot the bill for their relocation.

Cllr Harry Phibbs, a Conservative member of Hammersmith and Fulham, has blasted the 'hypocrisy' of his opponents.

He said: 'There has been a lot of talk of being moral and caring but there's been very little practical action. 

'In a way the main point would be the hypocrisy, they are saying 'we've got to show how moral and caring we are, but when it comes down to it we won't do anything practical to help'.
'I think it's political posturing and publicity seeking.'

The Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council's policy to welcome more unaccompanied child migrants was prompted by its leader visiting the Jungle camp in Calais.

Council Leader Stephen Cowan pledged to shelter vulnerable migrants in his West London borough after seeing first hand their terrible living conditions.

It is believed that so far Hammersmith and Fulham have welcomed five newcomers to the council area - and they have been put into foster care elsewhere.

The government rather than the council will now pay for the housing, healthcare and education of the new arrivals.

Cllr Cowan has said the challenge is now to find a home for 'every single one' of the 1,500 children in Calais, after being moved by their plight.

His council has pledged to help 15 individuals stranded in France.

A council spokeswoman has denied that the authority has refused to house immigrants from the Jungle camp in the borough.

She said: 'Claims that Hammersmith & Fulham Council has refused to house children from Calais are simply not true.

Cllr Stephen Cowan,  was moved to bring migrants to Hammersmith and Fulham after visiting the camps in Calais. Cllr Harry Phibbs has criticised the 'hypocricy' of the council

'We've never refused to house refugee children from Calais and there is no evidence to support the claim that we have.

'In fact, the Home Office has confirmed that it received our letter confirming we will take an additional 15 refugee children from the Calais camp on top of those refugee children that we already take under the government's voluntary National Transfer Scheme.

'It is also not true that we have asked the government to fund the cost of moving any children.
'The chaos in the government's assessment processes and their administration of this crisis is the only reason there are still hundreds of unaccompanied children in Calais and the only reason we don't currently have more Calais children being cared for by Hammersmith & Fulham. We are ready and waiting to take more.' 

Conservative Cllr Harry Phibbs has rebuked the 'virtue signalling' of the council.

He said: 'It's like these all these celebrities you get going to Calais – which is not very far to go - they have taken hardly any people after demanding more be taken, for all their posturing.

'Also, rather than more publicity stunts perhaps we should be taking them from the camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey - where they have been driven out by ISIS.

 There been a lot of virtue signalling about how caring they are, but not much being done.' 

Since mid-October, more than 300 children have arrived in Britain from Calais and more transfers are due in the coming days, according to the Home Office.

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