politics

Twenty London boroughs sign up to house Afghan refugees as minister says ‘we need more’



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wenty London boroughs have pledged to rehouse hundreds of Afghan refugees, but a Government minister has said “we still need more”.

Many had worked with British or American forces meaning they and their families were at risk of being targeted.

Home Office minister Victoria Atkins told the Standard: “Britain can hold our head up high with our response to this crisis.

“More than 300 local authorities have offered to take people in. That is great. But it’s not enough. We still need more.”

Some 30 per cent of all Afghans evacuated to the UK have been placed in London hotels.

However finding permanent housing in the capital remains a problem.

According to London Councils 14 bridging hotels have been reserved in eight boroughs, for use as accommodation pending long-term housing offers.

Boroughs have pledged to source long-term accommodation and support for around 200 Afghan arrival families so far, the umbrella group said.

Camden has taken in more than 1,000 Afghan refugees, while Kensington and Chelsea has reserved three hotels for around 800 people fleeing the country.

Some 15,000 people were evacuated from Afghanistan by British forces when the Taliban began seizing control of the country when UK and US started withdrawing troops.

But many more were left behind when evacuations stopped on August 31.

Victoria Atkins met Shukoor, who has been resettled by Hammersmith and Fulham council

/ Matt Writtle

“My heart breaks for those still there and those here with family members still there,” Ms Atkins said.



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