September 5: Pandering to the ‘tough on foreigners’ brigade

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From: Michael McGowan, Trustee, PAFRAS, Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Leeds.

FURTHER to your Editorial comments ( The Yorkshire Post, September 3 ) that “Mr Cameron and Mrs Merkel need to work with their counterparts” to safeguard “those who are genuinely attempting to flee tyranny”, this has tragically not happened because UK politicians have pandered to the prejudices of the “tough on foreigners” brigade and not listened to the many who care about those fleeing tyranny and poverty.

Many local communities away from central Government care deeply about the plight of refugees an asylum seekers and it is some of the less affluent areas of Yorkshire – Sheffield, Bradford and Hull – where the UK’s refugees are hosted.

An example of grass roots support is the Leeds project PAFRAS which has run drop in centres in the city for more than 10 years providing advice and support including hot meals, food parcels and toiletries besides campaigning for a better deal for refugees and asylum seekers. It is now time for the UK Government, all parties, all faiths, and the whole community to unite in solidarity and contribute to a positive, fair, and co-ordinated EU programme of action as a matter of urgency.