View from the chamber: 'Brent has a long and proud record of supporting refugees from around the world'
Cllr Anton Georgiou, Alperton ward, Brent council
- Credit: PA
The tragic images we have seen over recent days from Afghanistan have shocked us all. After 20 years of military presence in the country, the abrupt withdrawal, with no comprehensive exit strategy has left chaos that will likely have wider implications for the region.
The incompetence of the government, particularly the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, who was on holiday as Kabul was falling to the Taliban, has left the UK diminished on the world stage. The Liberal Democrats are calling for his resignation and for the government to immediately commit to providing the required resources to local authorities as refugees and asylum seekers fleeing the new regime arrive.
As the grandson of refugees from Cyprus, this is an issue very close to my heart. Brent has a long and proud record of supporting refugees from around the world and we have a role to play now too. I know many residents across our borough will have their own personal stories of them or their families arriving in London, from East Africa, parts of Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Every single one of them has contributed to the diversity and strength of our community and make us who we are.
Many of us will never be able to fully comprehend the pain and trauma that the Afghan people have experienced over many decades, and now, so many marginalised groups will be at even greater risk. Women and girls, members of the LGBT+ community, political opponents of the new regime. It is our duty to once again proudly say that refugees are welcome. It is what Brent has always done.