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Unionist MPs let down Belfast over refugees

This has been framed by the Conservatives as an election about Brexit, but it is also more generally about who we are and what we want to be.

I believe that South Belfast, the constituency I am lucky enough to represent, is one characterised by a strong sense of fair play and a spirit of generosity to those less fortunate.

This was never demonstrated more tellingly than when a request for assistance for refugees living locally was met literally by rooms full of clothes, shoes and children's toys.

Fundamentally, this sense and this spirit drive our political expectations - from a taxpayer-funded universal healthcare system to provision of free education for all from the youngest possible age.

I was, therefore, horrified when all the MPs from the two main unionist parties opposed giving sanctuary in the UK to 3,000 desperate refugee children from Syria.

This is absolutely not who we are. It runs contrary to the sense of fair play and spirit of generosity people in South Belfast, as in many other places, have shown to those less fortunate.

I have no doubt such issues will be considered and remembered by the voters in June.


MLA for South Belfast

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