Protesters gather to demand Portsmouth does not close its doors to refugees

Protesters make their message at Portsmouth Civic Offices today
Protesters make their message at Portsmouth Civic Offices today
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BOOT out this attack on our city - that was the call from campaigners as they made a stance against the bid to close the door on asylum seekers coming to Portsmouth.

Scores of activists gathered in Guildhall Square today to lobby councillors ahead of a crucial full council debate on whether Portsmouth should be removed as a cluster area taking in asylum seekers.

University of Portsmouth student Carys Morgan, 20, was joined by friends as they made a stance in support of refugees.

She said: ‘The council is not actually representing what the people of Portsmouth want.

‘They are not only important to our economy, they are also skilled workers.’

The group chanted and held up signs to support their cause.

A handful of anti-refugee campaigners gathered on the balcony of the civic offices calling for no more to be brought into the city.

Simon Magorian, of Stand up to Racism, said members will be sending more supplies over to struggling families camped out in Calais soon.

He said: ‘We are seeing a massive outpouring of solidarity and support.

‘We have this mean spirited motion, yet we are taking very few refugees. If you look at councils like Rochdale, they are taking three times the number of refugees.

‘We should be urging to take more and have more of a responsibility for refugees.’

Despite the protests, councillors such as deputy leader Luke Stubbs have insisted Portsmouth - one of the UK’s most crowded cities - has not got the space to take in any more refugees.

Meanwhile, a banner was put up at the council’s civic offices from rival protesters which read: ‘Portsmouth says no to refugees’.