The Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats has called on the Welsh Conservative Leader to distance himself from the “appalling” comments of a Tory MP regarding the refugee crisis.
Speaking on BBC Radio Wales earlier this week, Monmouth MP David TC Davies claimed that those seeking sanctuary were “mostly young men, mostly with mobile phones, who are chancing their luck.” The following day, UK newspapers were filled with pictures of a drowned 3 year old boy being carried from a beach.
David Davies also claimed that refugees were making an “economic decision” to travel to the UK. His remarks are in stark contrast to those of Andrew RT Davies, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, who has called for more to be done to help the refugees.
Welsh Lib Dem Leader Kirsty Williams has called on the Welsh Conservative Leader to publicly distance himself from the comments of his MP.
Kirsty Williams AM, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:
“I welcome Andrew joining the political consensus here in Wales that we need to do so much more to help those seeking sanctuary on our shores. Unfortunately some of his own MPs, and his own party’s Government, don’t seem to agree.
“David Davies’ comments were absolutely appalling. Claiming that these refugees are making ‘economic choices’ to flee from war-stricken countries feeds the unfair stereotyping of asylum seekers and completely misses the point.
“I fail to see how anyone can hear these stories and see these images, and not want to reach out to help. It’s not good enough to turn our backs on the rest of the world – we must do more to help those seeking sanctuary in our country.
“I hope Andrew will choose to publicly condemn David Davies’ remarks.”
Kirsty’s calls come as Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron MP has requested an urgent debate in the House of Commons on the refugee crisis.
Tim Farron, who recently became the only party leader to visit a refugee camp in Calais, has demanded a debate on the government's handling of the issue and believes the UK should be doing more to help thousands of refugees arriving in Europe every week.
The Lib Dems submitted an urgent question on Wednesday afternoon calling for a House of Commons debate.
Tim Farron MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said:
“Our party has taken the lead in highlighting this problem and we have asked for a debate in Parliament to raise the issue and hold the government to account.
“We can and must do more with our EU partners to tackle the problem. This is a humanitarian crisis which shames our country. We must step up to the plate to tackle it.”