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Saturday, 14 May 2011

Nick Clegg and the truth about refugees

A poll by the Refugee Council shows that 44% of British people think that more than 100,000 asylum seekers were granted refugee status in the UK in 2009 - the correct figure is actually 4,175. Hmm, slight difference between 4,175 people and more than 100,000 people. That shows the ignorance that frequently shrouds the British public debate on asylum and refugees. Ignorance deserves to be dispelled. So I was very pleased, as the grandson of refugees who came to this country as asylum seekers, to see Nick Clegg's speech to the Refugee Council the other day, in which he said: "A country like the UK should be aiming for nothing less than the most compassionate, efficient, dignified asylum system in the world." Can anyone imagine a Conservative Deputy Prime Minister making a speech like this? I can't. The Coalition Government is making a real effort to make the asylum system both more humane and more efficient and this is a classic example of the Liberal Democrats making a difference in government.

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