Let’s support migrants in need, says Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond

Members of Portsmouth Pride, the GMB and teaching unions, Portsmouth Cathedral, political parties, Portsmouth University and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom hold a vigil by the Pioneer Statue near the Square Tower in Old Portsmouth last night ''''''     Picture: PortsmouthPride.co.uk
Members of Portsmouth Pride, the GMB and teaching unions, Portsmouth Cathedral, political parties, Portsmouth University and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom hold a vigil by the Pioneer Statue near the Square Tower in Old Portsmouth last night '''''' Picture: PortsmouthPride.co.uk
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  • Flick Drummond says the government needs to support Syrian refugees
  • 2,600 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean
  • Vigil held in Old Portsmouth last night
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WE NEED to support refugees who are escaping from their war-torn country, an MP has said.

It comes after a shocking picture of a drowned Syrian boy who was found on a beach in Turkey triggered a backlash across Europe.

These are people who have come from a war torn country and need the support that we can give them

Flick Drummond, MP for Portsmouth South

David Cameron is facing demands to stop ‘dragging his feet’ and allow more refugees into Britain.

But the Prime Minister has insisted that taking in more people will not solve the crisis wracking the continent, and the focus should be on bringing ‘peace and stability’ to the war-ravaged areas they are fleeing.

Now, an online petition calling on the UK to accept more refugees has passed the 100,000 threshold, meaning it is eligible to be considered for a debate in Parliament.

Flick Drummond, MP for Portsmouth South, said: ‘It’s a tragic situation for the whole of Syria which was one of the most highly educated countries in the Middle East.

‘The people who are coming here are professional and highly qualified people. Ministers in Europe are meeting to see how they are going to cope with this. I am sure we will be taking more refugees.

‘These are people who have come from a war-torn country and need the support that we can give them.

‘I expect it will be temporary and they will want to go back when the war has finished. It’s a fantastic country. They will want to go back and re-build when it’s over.’

But Alan Mak, MP for Havant, said: ‘Britain has launched its biggest ever humanitarian aid effort to help Syrian refugees, both in the region and accepting refugees into Britain.

‘The government keeps our aid position under review as the situation develops, working with our international partners.

‘Equally important is our continued work for peace and stability in the Middle East itself, working with our international partners.’

Caroline Dinenage, MP for Gosport, said: ‘The present situation in the Mediterranean is intolerable.

‘Gangs are profiting from the misery of their fellow humans, selling them false promises before loading them on to dangerous vessels and as we have seen in the shocking images of the last few days sending them, in many cases, to their deaths.

‘We face a terrible challenge. Whilst we must do everything we can to help those fleeing persecution, we must take care that our actions don’t encourage more people to make these perilous journeys – or make it easier for the gangs responsible for their misery.’

According to figures from the International Organization for Migration, so far this year, 2,600 people have drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean.

Last night, about 35 people gathered near the Square Tower in Old Portsmouth to hold a vigil for the refugees who didn’t make it.

John Perry is from the GMB trade union and organised the vigil. He said: ‘It beggars belief that in 2015 we can watch dead children being washed up on European shores because they are fleeing persecution and discrimination.

‘Britain and Europe needs to act and act fast.

‘There was a wide-range of 
people there at the vigil. It was a lovely event.’