Elizabeth Adams, the Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for Stratford, has demanded an explanation from Stratford’s Tory MP, as to why he did not publicly back an amendment to the immigration bill, which would have saved 3000 unaccompanied refugee children, currently stranded in Europe.
The crucial vote took place on Monday night, 25th April, but Mr Zahawi did not vote at all.
Elizabeth said, “The Tory MP has some big questions to answer. This amendment would have saved innocent children, and would have meant just five of them being helped per constituency. How heartless do you have to be not to support that?
“I haven’t had a response to any of my communications to the MP, but he should explain where he was. He was able to make sure he was in the chamber to vote through cuts for people with disabilities. There is a lot more to the role of an MP than just being in the chamber to vote, so there may be a credible explanation; if so we need to hear it.
“At the end of the day, given Nadhim’s own background, I’d have thought he would have spoken out on this issue and tried to educate some of his 294 uncompassionate colleagues who decided to put politics before humanity and vote to neglect these children. The government have played one of their most underhanded cards on this, firstly by manipulating the system, claiming financial privilege, and secondly by using numbers in their announcement last week on accepting refugees from non-European camps, to attempt to confuse people. I don’t know how these people sleep at night.”
The amendment to the Immigration bill that would have seen the Government offer sanctuary in the UK to 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees from Europe was rejected 294 to 276.
Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron said, “In the past, Britain has consistently stood up for the best in human nature… tonight the Government has dishonoured that legacy. The Government have closed their eyes to those in need.”
Europol, the EU’s criminal intelligence agency, estimated in January that 10,000 children had gone missing after arriving in Europe, warning that many had been taken by criminal gangs: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/30/fears-for-missing-child-refugees
Result from the debate with full voting list of MPs: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2016-04-25a.1189.3#g1237.2