Statement from Kim Leadbeater MP , 5th September 2021
“The situation in Afghanistan remains of serious concern. I applaud the efforts of British service personnel and diplomats in trying to help people desperate to leave the country before the final withdrawal of Western forces. However, our responsibility did not end when the last planes left Kabul airport.
Our first concern now must be to do all we can for those whose lives and wellbeing continue to be threatened. My team are in contact with constituents who have family members still living in fear in the country to offer the best available advice. I call on the Taliban to adhere to their promise to allow safe passage to those entitled to leave.
Going forward, with my front bench Labour colleagues I will be calling on ministers to ensure the UK gets aid directly to those who need it most and offers practical and moral leadership in the refugee crisis. That means taking our fair share of refugees now and also ensuring that the resettlement process is suitable for both those who are seeking refuge and the communities they are joining.
I welcome the commitment from Kirklees Council to play its full part in supporting the humanitarian response to the situation, including offering a safe welcome to those refugees who find their way here. The work of local charities and the generosity shown by so many people in Batley and Spen is a testament to our values as a community.
At Westminster, I am working with cross-party MPs to support women who were members of the Afghan parliament and are now at risk and I am also very concerned about the plight of female athletes in the country.
This is, above all, a humanitarian situation. We encouraged the people of Afghanistan to believe that the values of tolerance, equality and freedom would help define their lives. We told Afghan women and children in particular that they could look forward to a future free from oppression. Too many people died to defend those principles for us to abandon them now.”