Diane Abbott has today publically had a go at Boris Johnson and the Government after the Labour MP said the 5,000 Afghan refugees that Britain said they would take in wasn’t enough and Britain should take more.
Speaking as part of the panel on BBC Any Questions, Ms Abbott said Britain “had a moral responsibility” to take in more Afghans than we are currently doing.
It was only last Tuesday when the Taliban took over Afghanistan did the British Government state that they will welcome 5,000 Afghans who are fleeing. Those who will be accepted is said to be mainly women, girls and religious and other minorities.
This is on top of the additional 5,000 people who are part of the Relocations and Assistance Policy designed to help present and past employees of the UK Government.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “I want to ensure that as a nation, we do everything possible to provide support to the most vulnerable fleeing Afghanistan so they can start a new life in safety in the UK. The Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme will save lives.”
Patel’s Programme will see Britain take in 20,000 and could be more. In response to this, the Spectator editor, Fraser Nelson, told Any Questions: “The Government has mentioned 20,000. I don’t think that’s a particularly high figure.”
“There is more we can do. Right now, there are 2.5 million displaced people, so taking 20,000 is not very much. I really hope the UK will discharge the many promises we made.”
With Nelson’s comment, Diane Abbott decide to jump in to give her two pennies worth saying: “Are we doing enough? No, we are not.”
“We must take some responsibility for the chaos Afghanistan is in now.”
“I have to say one person who didn’t do enough was Dominic Raab, who would not break into his holiday to spend an hour on the phone with his Afghan counterpart to try and save the very brave translators for our forces. He has not done enough.”
“On our promises in relation to refugees, I agree with what Fraser said.”
She added: “The numbers the Government has mentioned so far are not sufficient. Again because we have to take some moral responsibility for the way things are in.”
“We need to make more substantial promises to take Afghan refugees. We should be taking more than 5,000.”
“There are people who acted as translators, who worked for charities and aid organisations – 5,000 is not enough. We are not doing enough. We should do more.”
Additional to Diane Abbott’s comments, Boris Johnson has said: “The UK’s commitment to Afghanistan is lasting, and our plan to help people with the resettlement programme will run for a good while to come.”