Portsmouth to give sanctuary to Syrian refugee children

File photo of Syrian migrants being housed at a warehouse after coming ashore at RAF base Akrotiri in Cyprus,
File photo of Syrian migrants being housed at a warehouse after coming ashore at RAF base Akrotiri in Cyprus,
Gosport Borough Council's leader Councillor Mark Hook. Picture: Allan Hutchings (141422-200)

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THE leader of Portsmouth City Council says the city will ‘almost certainly’ give refuge to vulnerable Syrian children.

The pledge from Donna Jones comes as the Home Office confirmed it will work with the UN Commissioner for Refugees to identify ‘exceptional cases’ of unaccompanied children.

Charities want the country to take in 3,000 children, on top of the 20,000 the government has agreed to take by 2020.

Cllr Jones wrote to the Home Secretary last year asking her to review the city as a cluster area – due to overcrowding and a severe housing shortage.

She said: ‘We will almost certainly be taking some of the children.

‘We still remain a designated cluster are for the Home Office for the south east along with Southampton and Worthing. At the moment we have 25 unaccompanied asylum seeking children who we have given refuge to an education through our schools.

‘The government works out, based on population, which region of the UK asylum seeker families and their children are dispersed. Portsmouth is one of those areas in the south east and has been for 16 years.’