Community Care has written to Conservative leader Iain Duncan
Smith urging him to apologise publicly for the
“pejorative” language used by his MPs when referring to
asylum seekers and refugees, writes Derren
The letter highlights in particular the
“inflammatory” language of shadow home secretary Oliver
Letwin and Welsh Tory MP Nick Bourne for raising fears that the UK
is being “swamped” and harbours “terrorists
intent on blowing us up”.
Community Care editor Polly Neate has called on Duncan Smith to
“consider the impact of these words and the hysteria they
provoke”. “Using asylum as a political football with
which to win votes in local communities is abhorrent and undermines
what is a genuine issue for the many people escaping persecution in
their home lands,” Neate says.
One of the aims of Community Care’s Right to Refuge
campaign is to encourage politicians to cut-out racist language.
Neate has “strongly requested” Duncan Smith takes
responsibility for his party’s actions and “contribute
positively to the debate on asylum”.
The letter follows Mori research released by Amnesty
International, Refugee Action and the Refugee Council to coincide
with Refugee Week, which shows that large numbers of young people
have a poor opinion of asylum seekers.
The survey of 289 15-24 year olds reveals that 58 per cent think
asylum seekers do not make a positive contribution to the country,
nearly a quarter think Britain should not offer a safe haven for
people fleeing war and persecution, and half think only a few
asylum seekers are genuine.