During my four years as an MP, I have been the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees. As chair, I set up the Parliamentary enquiry ‘Refugees Welcome?’ evaluating the experience of new refugees in the UK. From that enquiry, I was successful in persuading government to follow some of the recommendations, such as those making it easier for refugees to get bank accounts and National Insurance numbers. But there is much that the Tory government would not do.
So I pushed for, and was glad to see, the Labour manifesto including several important commitments:
• Resume the rescue missions in the Mediterranean
• Co-operate with the French authorities to put an end to the squalid camps and make sure people there, particularly children, are assessed and given the support and protection they need
• An end to indefinite immigration detention – detention should be a last resort, never for victims of torture and there must be a time limit
• Increase the number of safe and legal routes for refugees to get to countries of safety without having to make dangerous journeys
• Allowing refugees the right to work and to use public services
If I am re-elected, these are the things that I will continue to campaign for. Because I know people in Bristol West are united in wanting us to be the best country in the world for welcoming refugees.