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UK News

Christian charity urges government to reconsider plans to cancel child migrant scheme

The call comes as a legal challenge is brought over the abandoned plans.

A high court challenge against the scheme - known as the Dubs amendment - will be heard in May.

The scheme will close after helping just 350 under-18s from across Europe. It was thought that up to 3,000 children may have benefitted from the scheme.

PA

Refugees seek shelter in Serbia

Mark Walley from the Christian fostering and adoption charity Home for Good told Premier's News Hour it's not too late for the government to reconsider.

"We would absolutely would love the Government to realise that there is capacity," he said, "It might require a lot more work but there is definitely support from civil society and from the church, from all kinds of other charities across the country willing to do stuff."

Earlier today, Rev Dr Richard Frazer, convener of the church and society council of the Church of Scotland, called the Government's repeal of the amendment "reprehensible".

He said: ""The UK Government statement said that it had consulted with local authorities about capacity, churches were not consulted by the Home Office. Church and community groups in the City of Glasgow have only recently begun a consultation process about how volunteers might assist in the programme of supporting child refugees.

"A decision to end the Dubs resettlement now is premature and lacks both compassion and ambition."

Mark Walley told News Hour that the reaction from leading church figures such as Rev Frazer and Archbishop Justin Welby, gave him hope that the Government may have a change of heart on the issue.

He said: "We're really proud and excited to see that so many people are standing up and saying that Britain should be doing more about this. We know there are children in Europe that are unaccompanied and in danger that we could be welcoming into the country."

A Home Office spokesperson said: "We are not giving up on vulnerable children who are fleeing conflict and danger.

"Thanks to the good will of the British public and local authorities in the last year alone we have provided refuge or other forms of leave to more than 8,000 children.

"We're also clear that behind these numbers are children. It's vital that we get the balance right between enabling eligible children to come to the UK as quickly as possible and ensuring local authorities have capacity to host them and provide them with the support they will need."

Listen to Premier's Alex Williams speaking to Mark Walley here:

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