William Eichler 26 April 2016

Only 43 Syrian refugees have been resettled in London, charity reveals

The capital has only taken 3% of all Syrian refugees given sanctuary in the UK since 2014, according to research by Citizens UK.

The charity found that out of the 1,337 Syrians who have been resettled to date through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme, only 43 have been relocated to London.

Citizens UK collected the data through Freedom of Information requests made to London’s councils and from Refugee Welcome groups operating throughout the capital.

Out of London’s 33 councils, some – Camden, Barnet, Kingston and Islington – have already begun resettling refugees. Other Boroughs – Ealing and Lambeth – have agreed in principle but have not taken in any Syrian refugees yet.

In order to ensure London does more to tackle the refugee crisis, Citizens UK is calling for the creation of a deputy mayor for citizenship and integration, who will be personally charged with making sure at least 10 Syrian families are resettled per borough per year.

Bishop of Barking, Peter Hill, said: ‘Londoners want to respond to this historic crisis. Groups across the capital stand ready to welcome Syrian refugees, and we urge the authorities to do more to enable London to do its fair share.’

George Gabriel of Citizens UK said: ‘It’s clear that there are serious challenges to resettling refugees in London, but the idea that one of the world’s greatest cities is going to play next to no role in responding to the greatest refugee crisis since the Second World War is clearly unacceptable.’

‘The rest of the country will surely take a pretty dim view if the capital decides to “sit this one out”,’ he added.

The Government has announced it will resettle 3,000 children and adults fleeing conflict in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by the end of this Parliament.

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