A good friend of mine is Dr Krish Kandiah who is the Director of Afghan Welcome. It is a Faith based agency that is seeking to both call for local groups to support Afghan families and local Councils to do more than they are currently doing. As it happens there are many MPs who are also calling for the Government to also do that. My own MP, Caroline Lucas is one of the MPs who is frequently calling for responses from the Government. The open letter is a form of a petition and along with Krish there are signatures from people such as the Bishop of London along with a number of other Anglican Bishops including the Horsham Bishop, Ruth Bushyager, the Baptist General Secretary for the UK, Lynn Green and Gavin Calver, the CEO of the Evangelical Alliance. Here are a few words from the open letter which can be found here and it is encouraging people to sign it
Dear Council leaders,
We are grateful for all the work that you have done for our local communities across the nation during the global pandemic. You had our back and we are so thankful to you and your staff for their service during these times. Now we are facing another global crisis.
Like you, our hearts were moved by the sight of thousands of people desperate to leave Afghanistan. We, as your local residents and constituents, would like to encourage you to respond positively to the Home Office’s request for offers of hospitality to Afghan refugees. There are approximately 8000 Afghani refugees in our country under the Government’s Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme, currently living in hotel accommodation. This is temporary and costly, unsuitable for everyone involved.
We encourage your Local Authority to offer 10 families refuge.
In terms of the House of Commons here is the question that Caroline Lucas asked 10 days ago on the 13th of September
One of the urgent cases I am dealing with is that of a former Chevening scholar trapped in Kabul, who is very worried that he is not on the appropriate Government list because, strangely, he did not receive a call forward to the airport in the early days of the evacuation. Can the Minister assure me that she is talking to the FCDO about Chevening scholars and that, from the Home Office perspective, all former and current Chevening scholars will be supported by the Government? In particular, will the right paperwork be issued to him, so that if he does make the decision to go with his family to the border, he will know that he will be safe once he gets there?
It is vital for us to sign letters like the one above and encourage our MPs to do the same as Caroline Lucas.