May urged to reunite refugee families

More than 200 religious leaders have urged Theresa May to relax current immigration rules so that refugees can be reunited with their families.

Despite government ministers claiming the UK has been at the head of the response to the migrant crisis, faith representatives from the Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh faiths to have signed the letter to the Prime Minister arguing that relatives of Britons and refugees already in the UK should gain a legal route into the country.

The letter calls on the government to ‘urgently revise its policy’ to help refugees fleeing Syria, Iraq and other areas of conflict ‘by adopting fair and humane family reunion policies’. This, they maintain, could stop the unsafe journeys being undertaken, and help prevent ‘avoidable tragedies’.

Baroness Neuberger told Radio 4's Today show: “The UK has taken something like three per cent of refugees coming through into Europe, and I think we could do better than that and take more like a fair share.”

Last month, the government won an appeal against a ruling which allowed four Syrian refugees living in the so-called Jungle camp in Calais to live with relatives already in the UK.

Among the signatories is former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Baroness Rabbi Julia Neuberger and Harun Rashid Khan, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain.