Bishop of Durham asks about funding for local authorities supporting Ukrainian refugees

The Bishop of Durham received the following written answer on 27th March 2023:

The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government when they plan to publish details of how the £150 million funding for local authorities to support people on Ukraine visa schemes into longer term accommodation will be allocated.

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Bishop of Durham asks about Homes for Ukraine scheme

The Bishop of Durham received the following written answer on 10th March 2023:

The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government when people who arrived in the UK through the Ukraine Family Scheme will be able to be re-matched with hosts who offer their homes through the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Con): This department is not responsible for the Ukraine Family Scheme route. Details of re-matching for Homes for Ukraine arrivals are available online on gov.uk.

Hansard

Bishop of Southwark asks about food rations sent to Rohingya refugees

The Bishop of Southwark received the following written answer on 7th March 2023:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark asked His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the decision of the World Food Programme to cut the daily food ration to Rohingya refugees by 17 per cent; and whether they will contribute to making up the shortfall in funding.

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Bishop of Durham asks about refugee resettlement

The Bishop of Durham received the following written answers on 6th March 2023:

The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government what barriers they have identified to increasing the number of people who could be resettled through the Mandate Resettlement Scheme.

Lord Murray of Blidworth (Con): We have not made an assessment of the barriers to increasing the number of people who could be resettled through the Mandate Resettlement Scheme.

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Bishop of Durham asks about emergency resettlement scheme

The Bishop of Durham received the following written answer on 22nd February 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government what plans they have to trial an Emergency Resettlement Mechanism that is wider than existing schemes as originally proposed in the New Plan for Immigration, published on 24 March 2021.

Lord Murray of Blidworth: An Emergency Resettlement Mechanism would allow the government to provide urgent protection in exceptional circumstances to refugees referred by UNHCR as being in need of rapid emergency resettlement. The UK already works alongside the UNHCR to resettle refugees through its existing resettlement schemes; these include the UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS), Community Sponsorship, the Mandate Resettlement Scheme, and the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS).

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Bishop of Southwark asks about refugees from Iraq

The Bishop of Southwark received the following written answers on 20th February 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark asked His Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of the number of Iraqi refugees in Jordan that have (1) applied for, and (2) been granted, asylum in the UK since 2014.

Lord Murray of Blidworth (Con): The Home Office publishes data on asylum and resettlement in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release(opens in a new tab)’. Data on the number of asylum applications and initial decisions by nationality are published in table Asy_D01 and Asy_D02 respectively of the asylum and resettlement detailed datasets(opens in a new tab). Information on how to use the datasets can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to Q3 2022.

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Bishop of Chelmsford asks about resettlement of Afghan refugees

The Bishop of Chelmsford asked a question about support for resettlement of Afghan refugees who had worked for the British Council, during a debate on UK Aid to Afghanistan on 11th January 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Chelmsford: My Lords, as we discuss aid to Afghanistan, surely it is also right that we consider those who have worked with us so faithfully on the ground over the years to deliver educational goals. It remains the case that the Afghan citizens resettlement scheme has not resettled any of those who worked for the British Council. Can the Minister please set out what is being done to ensure the promised resettlement of those individuals?

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Bishop of Durham asks about resettlement estimates for refugees

The Bishop of Durham received the following written answer on 14th December 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of the number of people likely to be granted resettlement in the UK for (1) the remainder of this year, and (2) the following two years thereafter.

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Archbishop leads debate on principles of asylum and refugee policy

On 9th December 2022 the Archbishop of Canterbury led a debate in the House of Lords on the motion:

That this House takes note of the principles behind contemporary United Kingdom asylum and refugee policy, and of the response to the challenges of forced migration.

The Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, I am very grateful to the usual channels for facilitating this debate, to those among the staff of the House who have had to work extra hard to come in today, and to so many noble Lords for being present. I look forward to hearing the maiden speeches of the right reverent Prelate the Bishop of Leicester, the noble Lord, Lord Sahota, and the noble Baroness, Lady Twycross, on this subject.

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Bishop of Durham -need for ‘courageous, compassionate leadership, not hostility and defensiveness’ in asylum policies

The Bishop of Durham spoke in a debate on 9th December 2022 led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, on the principles behind asylum and refugee policy.

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, it is a pleasure to follow the noble Baroness, Lady Prashar. We are not often afforded the opportunity to look at asylum policy forensically and dispassionately, so I thank the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury for choosing this debate. I also congratulate those who have given their maiden speeches today, and note my registered interests as a trustee of Reset and a principal of RAMP.

I begin by laying out clear principles that come from how ancient Israel was called to treat refugees: to welcome people, to treat them with dignity as fellow humans, to provide support, and to enable self-support and integration. It is no secret that we are not doing the mechanics of “welcome” through asylum processing well. The applications backlog means we are unable to prioritise those in need or humanely return those not recognised as refugees. There were close to 140,000 unanswered applications in the system by the end of September, so men, women and children were left in limbo and unable to rebuild their lives. This is not treating people with dignity. Chronic underinvestment in both people and systems at the Home Office has caused this, but there are workable solutions, such as to recruit more caseworkers and set up a dedicated case clearance unit that effectively triages.

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