Anger of Afghan families who fled the Taliban and forced to move AGAIN
Anger of Afghan families who fled the Taliban for Britain as they are forced to move AGAIN from London to Yorkshire due to a shortage of accommodation
- Group of 40 families, including 150 children, need to be resettled by Tuesday
- They have been living at taxpayers’ expense in a four-star hotel in Kensington
Afghan refugee families who fled the Taliban for a new life in the UK are being forced to move 200 miles from London to Yorkshire.
A shortage of accommodation means the group of 40 families, including 150 children, need to be resettled in a different part of the country by Tuesday.
They have been living at taxpayers’ expense in a four-star hotel in Kensington, west London, for more than a year and have been told they must move to the cheaper three-star Mercure Hotel in Wetherby, near Leeds.
Yesterday some of the refugees, including an ex-Afghan general, protested against the plans outside Downing Street. The families were evacuated when the Taliban took control of Afghanistan because they worked alongside the British authorities and included army translators.
Their evacuation was a triumph for the Daily Mail’s Betrayal of the Brave campaign that has been fighting for sanctuary in the UK for translators who risked their lives to help the British Army.
A shortage of accommodation means the group of 40 families, including 150 children, need to be resettled in a different part of the country by Tuesday
Yesterday some of the refugees, including an ex-Afghan general, protested against the plans outside Downing Street. [File image]
The Wetherby hotel has family bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, high-speed Wi-Fi and tea and coffee making facilities.
But the families are angry at the switch as it will disrupt their children’s education and mean adults who have found work in London must seek new jobs in Yorkshire.
READ MORE: PLATELL’S PEOPLE: Is Yorkshire REALLY worse for Afghans than life with the Taliban?
A 21-year-old among the Westminster protesters said the news was devastating for his family as his 60-year-old father was due to undergo a liver transplant in London. The man, who works at Harvey Nichols and is one of eight members of the family, said: ‘We are devastated. It’s in the middle of the education year so if we move to Wetherby, there will be no space in schools for my siblings.’
Another protester, aged 40, said the move would force him to leave his shop job and seek employment again. He said: ‘My children are not happy with the decision because of their education, they have friends here, they have got used to the school having been there for one-and-a-half years.’
It is understood the Home Office told the families last September of the need to find new accommodation. A Home Office spokesman said: ‘While hotels do not provide a long-term solution, they do offer safe, secure and clean accommodation. We will continue to bring down the number of people in bridging hotels, moving people into more sustainable accommodation as quickly as possible.
‘Occasionally families may be moved from a hotel scheduled for closure to another hotel. In these instances, families are given appropriate notice of a move and are supported by their local authority every step of the way.
‘The UK will welcome up to 20,000 people in need through the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme. We are proud this country has provided homes for more than 7,500 Afghan evacuees, but there is a shortage of local housing accommodation for all.’
Since the launch of Operation Warm Welcome, hundreds of Afghans have been moved from London to hotels around the country. One challenge is that Afghan families are often significantly larger than UK ones so suitable accommodation is hard to find.
The average size of an Afghan family given sanctuary in the UK is about six people, whereas the average family size in Britain is three.
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