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In numbers: Britain's contribution to Syria aid

  • Britain's £500 million of official aid to Syria was the UK's largest ever response to a humanitarian crisis, the Home Office said.
  • The Government said that total almost equalled the amount given by the other 27 EU countries combined.
  • Some £217 million is being spent inside Syria and £236 million in neighbouring countries.
  • Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said that Britain should join some 16 nations which have agreed to allow a total of more than 10,000 Syrians to move to their countries.
  • Australia is understood to be planning to take in 500 Syrians for permanent resettlement, Sweden 400, Germany will allow 5,000 temporary "humanitarian admissions" and France 500.
  • Only about 0.1% of Syrians displaced by the fighting have found refuge in the UK, the Refugee Council said.

Cooper: Govt cannot turn its back on Syrian refugees

We should be rightly proud of our humanitarian aid effort and the generosity of the British people.

But we should also do our part, alongside other countries within the UN's programme, to provide a safe haven for some of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees fleeing this murderous conflict.

The British Government cannot turn its back on these people. It is our moral duty to respond to the UN's call for help for Syrian refugees - just as our country has helped those fleeing persecution for hundreds of years.

– Yvette Cooper told The Independent


Labour urges Government to accept Syrian refugees

Labour has urged the Government to take in hundreds of Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting which has ravaged the Middle Eastern country for three years.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The United Nations called on the international community to offer both humanitarian aid for refugees and resettlement opportunities outside the country.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper is urging the Government to accept 400-500 Syrians, including torture victims, women and girls at high risk and people with family links to the UK.

But ministers insist that Britain can best help by providing funds to assist those affected by the long-running civil war both inside Syria and in neighbouring states like Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq.

Ms Cooper said that Britain should join some 16 nations, including the USA, France and Germany, which have agreed to allow a total of more than 10,000 Syrians to move to their countries.

Yvette Cooper: This was a vile and sickening attack

This was a vile and sickening attack on an unarmed and innocent man on the streets of London and our thoughts remain with the family, friends and colleagues of Lee Rigby on a day when his murderers have been found guilty ...

The message from this court case, from the community in Woolwich and from us all is that acts of barbaric cruelty will do nothing to diminish our resolve to stand up to extremism in all its forms.

The local community, and people across the country, have refused to allow murderers and extremists to divide us.

– Yvette Cooper, Labour's Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper

Labour: Cameron has left benefit changes to last minute

Labour have accused David Cameron of leaving planned EU benefit changes to the "very last minute".

A ban on EU migrants claiming out-of-works benefits from the moment they arrive in the UK is to be rushed through parliament in time for January 1st 2014 when restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals.

Yvette Cooper has accused the Government of leaving benefit changes to the last minute. Credit: PA Wire

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: "Labour called for these benefit restrictions nine months ago. Yet David Cameron has left it until the very last minute to squeeze this change in.

"Why is the Government leaving everything until the last minute and operating in such a chaotic way?"

The shadow home secretary called on the Government to "beef up" enforcement against agencies which only recruit from abroad, and to adopt the rest of Labour's proposals to stop immigration being exploited to undercut wages and jobs for local workers.

Yvette Cooper: 'Thoughts with shot police officer'

The shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has tweeted that her thoughts are with the female police officer who was wounded by a gunman in Leeds:


Labour: Government 'flailing' over immigration policy

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper says the government are 'flailing' over their immigration policy:

The Prime Minister is playing catch up. Why has it taken him eight months to copy Labour's proposal to make the Habitual Residence Test stronger and clearer?

After Labour proposed this change in March, the Government said it was all fine and nothing needed to change. Yet now, rather than following a coherent plan, they are flailing around.

No wonder public confidence in the Government's handling of this issue has collapsed.

This change was only one of Labour's proposals. The Government should also be beefing up enforcement of dodgy gangmasters and targeting sectors that are reliant on migrant labour to ensure they are working to train employees.

'Astonishing' May unsure if terror suspect had passport

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper told ITV News it was "astonishing" Theresa May did not know whether a terror suspect who escaped surveillance by wearing a burqa had his passport with him.

On-the-run terror suspect Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed, who is seeking damages from the Government over torture allegations, reportedly cut off his monitoring tag with a sharp object before fleeing.

Ms Cooper said: "The idea that the Home Secretary doesn't know even whether he has his passport or not is astonishing.

"It's another sign that the TPims regime Theresa May brought in - that weakened the controls - is simply not working."

Cooper calls for answers after terror suspect escapes

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has called for answers into how 27-year-old Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed was able to evade surveillance and breach a court order.

Somalia-born Mohammed, who was subject to a Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures notice (Tpim), managed to escape after changing into a burqa on a visit to a mosque.

Describing the situation as "extremely serious", Ms Cooper said: "Clearly police and security agencies will be doing everything possible to locate this terror suspect and ensure public safety.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has called for answers into how a terror suspect was able to evade surveillance. Credit: PA Wire

"The Home Secretary also needs to provide information about the decisions made over Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed's Tpim, how he was able to abscond and what the risks to the public are."

Cooper said the 27-year-old is now the second terror suspect to breach a Tpim in London in the space of ten months, after Ibrahim Magag absconded in a black cab last Christmas.

The Shadow home secretary said given the "long-standing concerns over the replacement of control orders and the limitations of Tpims", there should be an independent review into the adequacy of the terror control measures.

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