You’re pathetic, Yorkshire MP tells refugee campaigner

Philip Davies MP
Philip Davies MP
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SHIPLEY MP Philip Davies has come under fire after branding a constituent “frankly pathetic” in a series of email exchanges over the refugee crisis.

Amy Firth’s mother emailed the Conservative MP asking him to take action on the “humanitarian disaster unfolding on our doorstep in the Mediterranean Sea”, but said she was met with shock and disbelief at his subsequent replies, which included accusing her of holding the “trendy left wing view” of being compassionate rather than sensible.

One of the emails sent by MP Philip Davies

One of the emails sent by MP Philip Davies

In emails seen by The Yorkshire Post, he wrote that there was “no justification at all for people entering the EU via the Mediterranean to enter the UK,” but added he would take up her concerns with the relevant minister.

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But the email row got increasingly heated, and after Ms Firth - who was speaking on her mother’s behalf - branded his response “cold” and highlighted the plight of children who had drowned in the Mediterranean, Mr Davies wrote: “Just because I don’t believe that the UK can take in every refugee and illegal immigrant who is trying to get into the EU does not mean I think what is happening is tragic and it is frankly pathetic to suggest that you can only show you have compassion by thinking we should take everyone who wants to come here.

“Those people who reach the EU who are genuine refugees are safe in that country and there is no need at all for them to come to the UK.

“The Royal Navy have been deployed to save lives in the Mediterranean - although that seems only to have encouraged more to risk the trip and for more to die.

“I see that you subscribe to the trendy left wing view that what is important is looking compassionate whether it is really compassionate or whether it is sensible.

“If you want to think that you have a monopoly on compassion which can only be shared by people who agree with you then that is your prerogative.

“I will stick to dealing with the real world knowing that countries should stick to their international obligations as we do and knowing that we cannot take everyone in the world who wants to come here.”

Ms Firth, of Oxenhope, near Keighley, has since set up a Facebook group attracting more than 750 members called “Refugees Welcome UK” in a bid to “show him he is wrong”.

She told The Yorkshire Post: “My initial reaction was shock, anger and disbelief that anyone could respond in such a cold, uncaring and dispassionate way on the subject of refugees drowning at sea, let alone an elected member of parliament.

“I want to show him he is wrong. We are not talking about economic migrants or movement across the EU, we are talking about men, women and children fleeing for their lives and dying trying to reach our shores and I would gladly open my door and offer them a home.”

Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, Mr Davies said he had been the target of a “political campaign” and said he stood by his comments.

“What we have here is someone emailing me for my opinion, on something, which is a reasonable one, and she had a typical left wing opinion that if you don’t agree with someone you don’t have any compassion,” he said.

“You would have to have a heart of steel not to be moved by the three-year-old baby found on the beach, but can you tell me how us taking more refugees would have saved that babies life?

“To say that because that baby died means we should take more refugees is playing on people’s emotions.”