Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Celebrities write open letter to PM slamming “shameful” child refugee amendment

rexfeatures_5892895br.jpg

More than 200 public figures have signed an open letter to Theresa May urging her not to stop letting lone child refugees enter the country.

The move follows the government’s announcement last week that it would only be taking in 350 unaccompanied children under the Dubs amendment, named after Labour peer Lord Alf Dubs.

The letter, which slams the decision as “truly shameful”, has been signed by stars including Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Coldplay and Ralph Fiennes.

“The idea that as a country we will slam the door shut after just 350 children have reached safety is completely unacceptable,” it reads.

“The country we know and love is bigger than this. Communities and councils across the country stand ready to do more. The government must agree to extend the programme and re-consult with councils immediately.”

Benedict Cumberbatch is one of 200 public figures to sign the letter

Benedict Cumberbatch is one of 200 public figures to sign the letter

The government was widely criticised last week when the Home Office announced that, due to a lack of places, it would stop allowing vulnerable child refugees to enter Britain at the end of the financial year.

Campaigners had previously hoped that around 3,000 children from mainland Europe would be able to settle here.

In a statement, Josie Naughton, co-founder of charity Help Refugees, said: “The outpouring of support for the continuation of the Dubs scheme by these well-known figures and the public demonstrates that its closure is at odds with the British values that make this country great.

“We ask that the Government finds a way to do more to protect these vulnerable children fleeing war and conflict just as we did before the Second World War.”


You can read the full letter below:

Dear Prime Minister,

The government’s decision to close the “Dubs” lifeline for vulnerable refugee children is truly shameful.

The idea that as a country we will slam the door shut after just 350 children have reached safety is completely unacceptable.

Lord Dubs was himself a child saved by Sir Nicholas Winton who rescued 669 children virtually single-handed.

It is embarrassing that the Prime Minister’s entire government will not even manage to match the example set by her former constituent all those years ago, let alone the efforts of the Kindertransport movement of which he was a part which saved 10,000 children from the Nazis.

It is clear from the work of charities like Citizens UK’s Safe Passage project and Help Refugees with unaccompanied child refugees across Greece, Italy and France that where these safe and legal routes are blocked, children are left with a terrible choice between train tracks on the one hand and people traffickers on the other.

The government’s threadbare consultation with councils is now nine months out of date.

The country we know and love is bigger than this. Communities and councils across the country stand ready to do more. The government must agree to extend the programme and re-consult with councils immediately.

Related

barack obama michelle obama president 2020.jpg

The Obamas’ old professor thinks Michelle should have been president

rowling morgan.jpg

JK Rowling utterly annihilates Piers Morgan for defending Trump

teens school 3.jpg

Learning to fly: meet the teen girls battling a culture of bias

More

The deadly secret hidden within that creepy Game of Thrones hug

Spoilers are coming…

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

Why it’s totally fine if you don’t have a ‘work wife’

Having friends at work is nice – but it’s not the be all and end all

by Moya Crockett
18 Aug 2017

Meteorologist’s epic response to troll who called her “disgusting”

“Enough is enough.”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
18 Aug 2017

Acts of love, humanity and solidarity following the Barcelona attack

In the darkness, there is light.

by Moya Crockett
18 Aug 2017

How you can help those caught up in the Barcelona attack

The ways you can support the victims, survivors and investigation

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

People are furious about Trump’s response to the Barcelona attack

The world is sick of his double-standard on terrorism

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

Ryan Phillipe on how he tackles depression

“I’m thinking about how to focus and steady myself”

by Susan Devaney
17 Aug 2017

Are black girls being forced to grow up too fast?

A study has shown that black girls as young as five are seen as more adult than their white peers

by Kemi Alemoru
17 Aug 2017

Teen receives sickening messages after asking for career advice

This businessman's response was shocking

by Sarah Biddlecombe
17 Aug 2017

We want everything from this new high-street Disney collaboration

Seriously magical

by Megan Murray
17 Aug 2017