”Dear Cllr Govindia and Cllr Cook,
I’m sure like many of us across the borough you have been deeply moved and concerned by the news and images coming out of Afghanistan. Wandsworth has a long and proud history of welcoming those fleeing conflict, be it the Huguenots, or the original waves of Irish immigrants, to more recent arrivals fleeing war in the Balkans and Somalia. Former Battersea MP, Lord Alf Dubs, was himself a beneficiary of the Kindertransport programme in the 1940s - and of course your own family story is one that speaks deeply to this legacy.
It is in this spirit that we call on you, as a Conservative authority, to write to the Prime Minister and Home Secretary, indicating Wandsworth’s support for the establishment of the refugee settlement programme for those Afghani’s fleeing persecution - and indicating our willingness locally to provide assistance. In the case of Afghanistan, the UK has a special responsibility for providing assistance, given our own role in what is currently unfolding in the country.
In Wandsworth, we also pride ourselves on our links with the military, so given some people are fleeing due to helping British forces in Afghanistan, it seems particularly appropriate to help these refugees as well.
It is our moral duty to offer as much assistance as possible to those fleeing the Taliban.
We hope that you can add your voice to the many who are calling for Britain to offer safety, shelter and support for Afghan refugees over the coming period - and to offer practical help locally.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Cllr Leonie Cooper, Leader
Cllr Aydin Dikerdem, Housing Lead,
Wandsworth Labour Group