The Government must stop treating refugees like criminals and act humanely, argues Lord Roberts of Llandudno

LI remember well as a young lad in my hometown of Conwy,seeing from our kitchen door the searchlights spotting German planes bombing Liverpool and learning of the devastation they caused – so much suffering and deaths.

At the bottom of our road, the Palace Cinema showed not only the destruction in Liverpool and other cities, but of the horrors of the holocaust and the suffering of innocent people. Conwy was largely untouched but as a youngster I was made aware of the millions whose lives and those of their families who weretragically affected.

The Conservative illegal immigration bill reintroduces the possibility of detaining children for immigration purposes. The fact that there was to be an end to the detaining of children was my main reason for backing the coalition. Braverman still states that her immigration proposals are the will of the people of the UK – which people? Far from ALL! Just because Priti Patel or Suella Braverman think so wrongly that the majority of people are as unkind in their thoughts. 

Mays local government elections saw over 1000 Tory losses. There is no glamour whatsoever for what this illegal immigration bill, nor current Tory bills intends to do.

The Home Secretary dreams of planes deporting refugees to Rwanda. A proposal never voted upon in the Lords or Commons. I believe this is not a dream shared by the British people – more likely that of a Martin Luther King, who dreamt of justice and fairness for all people. 

Once again, not a single Tory councillor was elected in many of our larger cities. That was the democratically displayed will of the people. Non in Liverpool, Manchester, Stockport or Newcastle. The South coast councils which saw the refugees crossing in small boats, were thought most likely to back Tory proposals, they also saw Tory losses 5 in Dover, and even more in Folkstone!

UK people are far more humane than this Government.

I welcome the UK court of Appeal finding that the Conservative Government’s proposals to deport Asylum Seekers to Rwanda, is unlawful. I ask which other countries have been asked to accept “illegal” Asylum Seekers – not countries like Canada or even those in the middle east! The total cost of this deportation policy must be in the billions!!

Because of the number of problems happening around the world, and the many people displaced or needing help in their own countries, I was compelled to start a humanitarian group of likeminded people. We had previously tried something similar, but unfortunately it faded out. We learned from past mistakes and have now progressed into Humanitarians Together, which is a far more active group.  

Natural disasters, climate change, extreme poverty and the wars going on in different countries around the world, were some of the many reasons I decided to try something different. Humanitarians Together seems to be going from strength to strength.

The group is made up of charity refugee organisations, volunteer groups, refugees and individuals who want to do something to help those in a less fortunate situations than themselves.

I have never agreed with the Conservative party. Over the last few years, they have increasingly swung towards the right. When past MPs and Peers are standing up and criticising them – saying “this is no longer our conservative party!” you realise the extent to which they have changed. Even though I might not have agreed with their past politicians, I did hold respect for them, but that is no longer the case. They no longer seem to have morals, empathy or compassion.

The UK has had a good reputation for taking in people and treating them as human beings, but with recent prime ministers, and the Home Office, that is no longer the case, which is why I thought about the group compiling a humane refugee manifesto. I am hoping that the 12 points, will be supported by the parties, and added to their policies.

We launched the manifesto in Westminster on world refugee day (20th June). We were privileged to welcome the Mayor from Grande Synthe, which is a small town outside of Dunkirk. Also, we welcomed a fisherman who had saved 47 Asylum Seekers – 360 other people, were not so fortunate. This was a tragedy which happened near Lampedusa, a small island off Italy, October 2013.

We hope to get involved with many people from around the world, because if want change, then we must all work together.

In the long term, our aim is to build a country with a smile on its face, and a world fit for children to live in!

Since our launch the Conservatives’ Rwanda asylum plan, which is immoral, ineffective and incredibly costly for taxpayers, has now been judged by the Court of Appeal asunlawful.

It will do nothing to stop dangerous Channel crossings – and it runs roughshod over the UK’s legal obligations, as the courts have confirmed.


The Home Secretary needs to finally accept reality. Instead of wasting even more taxpayer money by defending this plan in the courts, the Home Secretary should scrap her vanity project and focus on tackling the asylum backlog created by her own Government’s incompetence.

The Humanitarian Together Campaign Group welcomes the decision of the court of appeal calling the Rwanda policy unlawful. Weve won another stage in our battle for the humane treatment of refugees Hallelujah !