I have urged Boris Johnson to offer empty fire and police stations as emergency accommodation for refugees, and to lobby the Government to let more refugees enter the UK and settle in London.
Several former police and fire stations are already being underused by property guardian companies, and could be converted at minimal cost for emergency accommodation for many hundreds of families.
Back in April I put a motion to Camden Council pressing them to take part in resettlement schemes, but the answer was only that they would think about it. I wrote to them again on 1 September and thankfully they are now taking up the chance to give sanctuary to some of the most vulnerable people displaced from their homes by the terrible situation in Syria. But it’s clear London is able to do much more.
“The situation for vulnerable Syrian refugees is bleak in the extreme. The Mayor has said and done too little in the face of this humanitarian crisis, but he could make a decisive intervention in the debate within government and offer practical help right here in London for people in need of shelter while councils find them decent homes to settle in.
“Londoners take great pride in our tradition of welcoming refugees. I am calling on the Mayor and all mayoral candidates to stand up to the shameful intransigence of our government, and show that London is a generous and compassionate city.”