Brighton MP blasts Prime Minister over Afghan refugee scheme

Posted On 22 Jun 2022 at 11:02 pm

The Green MP for Brighton Pavilion has criticised the Prime Minister over a scheme to help refugees from Afghanistan to relocate to Britain.

Caroline Lucas asked about the Afghan relocations and assistance policy (ARAP) at Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons today (Wednesday 22 June).

She said: “It has emerged that there is a backlog of 23,000 applications under the Afghan relocations and assistance policy, with just two of 3,000 applications for refuge by Afghans who worked for Britain processed since April.

“Yet at the same time, staff working on the ARAP scheme have been slashed by a quarter since December.

“This is an incredible betrayal of the Afghan people who put their lives on the line to work for our country.

“So, I still have casework, including many people from the Chevening Alumni, for example, who have been promised support since September. Can I send those cases to the Prime Minister?

“Will he put more resources into the scheme?

“Will he lift the cap on the (Afghan citizens resettlement scheme) so that we can finally do our best for the people of Afghanistan?”

Boris Johnson replied: “I am afraid that she is underestimating what the country is already doing for the people of Afghanistan.

“On Armed Forces Day, we should celebrate Op Pitting, which brought 15,000 out.

“Of course, I am very happy to look at the cases that she wants to raise – and we will do our best for them and for their families.

“But this House should be in no doubt of the generous welcome that we continue to give to people from Syria, from Afghanistan, from Ukraine and from Hong Kong.

“We have a record to be very proud of.”

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