On 27th October 2015 Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to ensure that they meet the Prime Minister’s objective that 1,000 Syrian refugees should be brought to Britain by Christmas.” The Bishop of Bristol, Rt Revd Mike Hill, asked a supplementary question.
The Lord Bishop of Bristol: My Lords, I detect a kind of frustration at the moment around the fact that a good many people are very happy to help and willing to give homes to these refugees but find the process of working that out a little opaque and, frankly, at times overbureaucratic, while recognising that there need to be some bureaucratic safeguards. Will my noble friend comment on what the Government propose to do to make the process transparent and easily accessible to those who want to give genuine care to those in great need?
Lord Bates: I recognise, of course, that the right reverend Prelate is absolutely right that many people have been touched by the needs of people fleeing the violence in the region. Of course, many of the people that we are particularly looking at have been victims of torture and violence, have acute medical needs and are some of the most vulnerable and the offers that have been made may not be appropriate in those cases.
However, Richard Harrington, the Minister with responsibility for Syrian refugees, is working to compile a register of churches, faith groups and charities which want to make that generous offer of assistance. We want to make sure that it is as easy as possible for people to take advantage of that.