Refugees and asylum seekers are today warmly praised by Tony Blair, David Cameron and Menzies Campbell in a rare collaboration to mark the launch of Refugee Week.
The three party leaders set aside their differences to say how much they value the contributions given by refugees to this country, and to restate their commitment to providing sanctuary to people fleeing persecution.
Starting next Monday (19 June) Refugee Week celebrates the contribution that refugees bring to the UK and aims to encourage better understanding between communities.
The prime minister said: “Our country has benefited hugely throughout its history from the contributions of those who have fled here to escape persecution.
“Britain and its people have a proud heritage of welcoming refugees. We must continue to do so. We must also provide them with the support they need to fulfil their potential and make their own full contribution to our society. I am delighted that we are again sponsoring Refugee Week and give it my full support.”
Commenting on the support from the party leaders, Almir Koldzic, UK co-ordinator for Refugee Week, said: “It’s magnificent and unprecedented that the main party leaders have joined thousands of people across the UK in celebrating the great contribution of refugees to the UK.
“The leaders’ support shows that Refugee Week has become the most important UK-wide platform for counterbalancing all those alarmist stories about asylum. The reality is very different – as the party leaders have recognised.
“We hope that these very positive statements of support will be seen as a general call for much greater understanding of asylum seekers and refugees, who give so much to our society.”